Japan Warns of Chinese Threat
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  • Anthony

    Security competition in Northeast Asia seems to be subtext in ongoing power considerations. It appears China views U.S. alliances with Asian countries as long-term strategic challenge. Joseph Nye has said that politics and economics in Northeast Asia are not only connected but also rest on regional stability – U.S. presence a force for stability but in China realist calculations maybe not so.

  • “If the smart people in China ever get secure control of the country’s foreign policy, the US task in Asia will become considerably tougher.”

    Or the other way around. Wars can be caused by accident.

  • Anthony

    Can someone please explain to me why this is our problem?

  • ZZZ

    I remember reading how during the 1930’s when the Japanese were rapidly industrializing, Japan’s civilian government lost control of its military, allowing the military to lead Japan into WWII. Even though today there is no love lost between China and Japan, the two nations were borrowing ideas and cultural patterns from each other for centuries before Westerners arrived on the scene. Now that China has begun Industrializing in a big way, it would not be surprising to see the same historical pattern repeat …

  • BioBob

    It ain’t rocket science, Anthony:

    US-Japan Trade TOTAL 2011 (millions) 66,168.3 Export 128,811.3 Import
    = 4th Largest Trading Partner

    US-China Trade 103,878.6 Export 399,335.1 Import
    = 1st Largest Trading Partner

  • Tblakely

    “Can someone please explain to me why this is our problem?”

    If two nations that we do a huge amount of trade with end up in economic and/or military conflict, that would have no impact on us at all? Come on dude, think a little.

  • ZZZ, while one may draw similarities between IJ’s indistrial rise in the early 20th century and PRC’s industrial rise today, these events are not happening in a vacuum. Japan’s emergence on the world stage and as a preeminent regional power coincided with the waning days of colonialism. As such, the model for national power politically embraced during the Meiji, Taisho, and even Showa eras included shouldering the “white man’s burden” and reaping the economic benefit therein.

    While PRC certainly has regional territorial interests, these will likely be more constrained to those to which they feel a reasonable claim can be made (Taiwan, Spratleys, Senkakus, etc.), with additional regional access to be afforded and guaranteed by satellites and surrogates.

  • jkñ

    it is that often sub-agencies like the equivalent of the Coast Guard take … It looks like Germany in 1917. Three goverments in one side and the Army in disarray. The navy in a Total War while the real commander in chief was trying to keep the USA out of the war.

    “Can someone please explain to me why this is our problem?” Because the USA vowed to defend asian nations from.. Japan and Japan from the rest to avoid a new arm race that end with an attack on USA soil. There is USA soil in the Pacific

  • Patrick Carroll

    Looks to me like we’re living in an age of foreign policy mediocrity. Fortunately, the Chinese are leading that particular race.

  • Shibumi

    Can someone please explain to me why this is our problem?

    It may not be such an issue if they weren’t doing things like stealing our tech, hacking into our infrastructure, or demonstrating the ability to shoot down our satellites, for example.

    Plus America is probably not going to be “energy independent” for the foreseeable future, so keeping our offshore oil sources secure and the international shipping lanes free will continue to be important.

    U.S. presence a force for stability but in China realist calculations maybe not so.

    Not a justification for needless provocation but I’m not otherwise interested in toadying up to the CCP Politburo’s “point of view”.

  • EvilBuzzard

    War is just one dumb accident away. Hope that the smart ones end up in charge.

  • John

    >>> If two nations that we do a huge amount of trade with end up in economic and/or military conflict, that would have no impact on us at all

    I grow weary of the unending justifications for the US to go sticking its nose into everybody else’s business.

  • ZZZ

    Hi submandave. Of course a Chinese repeat of Japan’s military adventures would be incredibly unlikely, but the danger of something similar is very real. There is even a declining Western military power present in the Pacific (namely, the US) just like there was before WWII (Great Britain). It’s also worth mentioning that the quickest way for the military branch of any government to increase its budget is to start a war, either cold or hot. Let’s hope the Chinese military settles for a cold war rather than a hot one.

  • Georgiaboy61

    Re: “Let’s hope the Chinese military settles for a cold war rather than a hot one.” ZZZ, don’t know if you keep up on military affairs or not, but in case you are interested, the PLAN (People’s Liberation Army-Navy; what the PRC calls its armed forces) has war-gamed now for well over a decade with the USA as its presumptive opponent. Some of the senior officers of the PLAN are quite bellicose, if you examine their speeches and actions – very different than the soothing messages come out of Beijing.

  • @ submandave says:

    “While PRC certainly has regional territorial interests, these will likely be more constrained to those to which they feel a reasonable claim can be made (Taiwan, Spratleys, Senkakus, etc.), with additional regional access to be afforded and guaranteed by satellites and surrogates.”

    submandave has privileged access to China’s politboro

  • China will force Japan to go nuclear, which will force China (and the Koreas) to [soil] their collective pants.
    China, may you live in interesting times.

  • Remember, China’s one-child policy has raised millions of spoiled children used to getting their own way, who are now assuming positions of power.
    As within the family, so internationally, to coin an aphorism.

  • Kris

    “Can someone please explain to me why this is our problem?”

    I’m sure John Donne could. 🙂

  • John F.

    Walter,

    The PM’s name is Yoshihiko, not Yoshiko. For a moment, there, I thought maybe Japan had elected their first female PM.

  • John F.

    I realize that you inherited the spelling error from the WSJ article itself. What’s most puzzling is that the author of that article has a Japanese name. Maybe an editor “corrected” it. It is a common error in the Western press, apparently.

    http://www.japanprobe.com/2012/01/07/yoshiko-noda-international-media-still-screwing-up-japanese-prime-ministers-name/

  • Stone Head

    Good catch John F. I also immediately noticed that Noda’s name was wrong. Yes, it is ‘Yoshihiko’, not ‘Yoshiko’. Refresher course: Japanese male names NEVER are both three syllables AND end in ‘ko’. Many Japanese female names no longer follow that pattern either but if a Japanese given name has three syllables and ends in ‘ko’, it will be a female name 100% percent of the time. Period.

    And as an aside, if the national press can’t even get something this simple correct, tell me again just why we treat them as if they were experts whose words contained wisdom? The Press are a bunch of people who took very few courses that contained any critical thinking or original research. Journalism is one of the easiest collegiate discipline that exist and its graduates have no real training or experience in much of anything that they are supposed to present to their readers.

  • Llarry

    China’s military will never be a global threat. I didn’t know that the branches of the armed forces took actions on their own initiative, but that adds to my conviction. Their technology is garbage. The new Chinese “stealth” fighter has canard wings, which means it has the radar signature of a flying billboard, and the new main battle tank has a shot trap under the mantle to funnel enemy rounds right down into the body of the vehicle.

    More importantly, every member of the Chinese armed forces is an only child. In China, all those precious sons are expected to carry on the family name and take care of the parents in their old age. China can’t risk sending its troops into battle.

    Watch the Chinese, but don’t fear them.

  • ray

    Wait until Japan puts its missile defense system in place along with going nuke. Then you will see some super excessive extreme soiling of pants.

  • J. F. Smith

    Is there anybody in the Chinese military who can fill the role that Admiral Yamamoto did in the late ’30s Japan? Somebody who knows the American people, and what we are capable of? (Unfortunately, for Japan, not enough people listen to Yamamoto.)

  • JF Smith – If there is, I imagine they are connected to cyber-intelligence/cyber-warfare. We know very little about any nation’s capabilities or thinking in this area, but it seems to me the one plausible candidate for an area equivalent to naval airpower for Japan in which the rising power might have a genuine technological and/or doctrinal advantage.

  • Lina Inverse

    ZZZ: The failure of civilian control over the military happened a bit earlier, due to problems with both their capital C and lower case constitutions. A cabinet could not be formed without both the Army and the Navy providing representatives and the Army used this abusively. And they allowed a culture of political assassination to develop; by the 1930s, anyone speaking out against imperialism ran a grave risk of being assassinated (see below).

    J. F. Smith: See above; a Yamamoto figure in China has a chance of being heard as opposed to the Navy having to send him to sea in 1939 to avoid assassination.

    Llarry: While you bring up several excellent points, I find it difficult to say they aren’t a global threat as long as they maintain an inventory of ICBMs that we have to assume work (since they’ve been successful enough in other space efforts) … not to mention their relocating their missile building facilities from out in the hinterlands to their civilian aerospace region, taking a hit in current production in favor of higher and better future production. And they’re reported to be working on new and better ones.

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