Web Letters | The Nation

Re 'China, Energy and Global Power'

China and Japan

This is a very interesting article, thought-provoking and providing many opportunities for comment. Related to the energy question and China, we now see a dispute between China and Japan over fishing grounds, along with energy resources, involving Islands that they both claim.

A Chinese fishing boat was recently taken into custody by the Japanese! While the crew was released, the captain remained in custody until today.
China retaliated by arresting four employees of a Japanese construction company, and successfully demanded that Chinese tourists cancel their trip to China. Since tourism from China is important to the Japanese economy, the Chinese captain was released. I haven't heard anything about the construction workers, but hopefully they will be released.

While this "incident" may be settled, there may be "unforeseen" consequences. There were demonstrations in China, and the Japanese public is reacting by going after the prosecutor who released the captain. Since the Chinese came out on top, it will not be a major item for them. However, The Japanese are a very proud people, and for most of their history they have been a warrior nation. They have been peaceful since World War II, but I would not like to see them provoked.

I believe it in the interest of everyone in the Pacific region not to have another Pacific war between these countries. Hopefully the US will help them resolve their differences through diplomacy. We need a few more George Mitchel types in the State Department. Preemptive diplomacy, with regard to conflict resolution, should be a major element in American foreign policy.

As J.A. Hobson noted in his book "Imperialism", trade contributes to imperialism. While China does not have political control of Japan, its trade relationship with Japan brings with it control over Japanese government policies. This is an example of "Economic Imperialism". No country is truly independent, without economic independence!

I had three uncles and an aunt involved in the Pacific during WWII. It was one war too many!

Pervis James Casey

Riverside, CA

Sep 24 2010 - 4:47pm