Japan’s outspoken finance minister and deputy prime minister Taro Aso said that the Japanese government needs to make it clear that they intend to defend the Senkaku Islands from whatever invading force. This is to avoid what happened to the Falkland Islands when Argentine troops triggered a war with British forces by landing on the disputed islands in 1982.
Aso told the parliamentary in Yokohama that Britain failed to inform Argentina that it was deploying forces to the islands to protect it and as a result, Argentina invaded the Falklands, located off their southern coastline. He said that three things should be present to deter other countries, referring to China in this case, from invading Japan’s territory: fighting ability, a national consensus and informing other countries about your intention to protect. Aso added that it is unavoidable that the government will increase their budget and spending on defense and it should be clearly stated that the Maritime Self Defense will be used for the defense and protection of the Senkaku Islands, claimed as the Diaoyu Islands by China.
The two countries have been at odds for the past year over the islands and attempts by Prime Minster Shinzo Abe to set talks with China have been rebuffed repeatedly. China‘s deputy foreign minister Li Baodong says they see no reason to hold talks with Japan anytime soon and find that their overtures are “not genuine”. He emphasized that if there will be a meeting, it should be more than “shaking hands and taking pictures”. While Japan is willing to improve relations with their neighbours, they reject any conditions set by China to formally open talks. China meanwhile has hinted they are open to a summit between their leaders but only if Japan acknowledges that there is a territorial dispute and to apologize for historical issues that have added to the diplomatic tension between the two.
[ via Euronews ]