ANALYSIS – Japan, whose increasingly militaristic Prime minister has announced that his nation will come to the aid of its allies, clearly fears the rise of China, as does for that matter Vietnam, South Korea and the Philippines.
Why Tokyo fears Beijing is not clear.
At present Shizo Abe is content to look at episodes such as the challenge for islands out in the east China sea as an example of a regime that has not ony gone mad, but also has a wider agenda for the region.
Japan and her allies may be right, but the facts on the ground do not present China or even the secretive regime of North Korea, as any threat to anyone.
Neither spend anything like the vast sums that are still being squandered by the Americans and Europeans at a time when there is still no clear enemy to speak of.
In fact, China’s defence spending is simply that – defence spending largely generated by Beijing’s fear of the United States of America whose pivot towards east Asia has left the Asian superpower concerned about the prospects for a long term peaceful future.
For China a healthy and prosperous relationship with Japan would be possible if Tokyo made a few simple steps which start with an apology for the unprovoked attack on her kingdom that began the Second World War, and also resulted in the Nanking massacre, an atrocity that even appalled the Nazis.
But Japan simply won’t entertain any such notion, continuing a relationship with an ally that conquered her through dropping two atom bombs on her civilians and whose economic fortunes are tied closely to the ‘World Order’.
Tokyo has been living as a zombie economy since the late eighties, it’s a situation that can’t remain forever and a move towards sharing in some of the prosperity from China could even revive her failing economy, as well as enrich her people who have suffered under decades of stagnation.
Instead, the signals are that Shinzo Abe is simply reverting to type, which is in no one’s interest – except of course to the United States of America.