EXTRA: ISLANDS, PROTESTS, AND DEAD AMBASSADORSSeptember 18, 2012
You may have heard by now that Japan nationalized a disputed chain of islands between that nation and China, causing "outbreaks" of "protests" in China against the Japanese action. And, following on the wake of last week's death of the Japanese Minister of Fiance, the new Japanese ambassador to China collapsed and died:
There's all sorts of ways one could play this, but first, let's dispense with the idea that the protests in China are entirely spontaneous. While I can readily imagine and grant the feelings of Chinese especially in the memory of what their country suffered during the Japanese invasion in World War Two, I don't for a moment believe that the protests are entirely spontaneous. Might that point the finger of blame to China for the ambassador's all-too-convenient death? Maybe, but, here again, I doubt it.
What may really be going on here is what I find more disturbing; for as readers of this site know, I have entertained suspicions about the Fukushima disaster coming in the wake of an important, landmark Japanese election, and in the wake of that new government's attempts to curtail the American military and political influence in that country, and to make some overtures to mainland China. You'll recall that US Defense Secretary Robert Gates delivered a "warning" to the Japanese government about the course it was embarking upon, a warning that could be seen as scarcely more than an unveiled threat.
Now we have this absurdly provocative move by Japan in nationalizing disputed islands... Now, I grant you, Japanese governments are not known to be particularly sane (remember the government of Hideki Tojo?). But such a direct provocation of China does not, to my mind, suggest the actions of a completely independent government...someoneelse, in my opinion, "strongly suggested" that move... the geopolitics have changed again, for the move of Japan toward the BRICS nations has been momentarily stalled, but, I suggest, not permanently halted.
See you on the flip side...