TOKYO, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- A pack of Japanese right-wingers landed on the Chinese-owned Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea on Sunday, in a blatant move that they claimed to "mourn the war dead", but in fact it was a scheme to net political leverage.
More than 150 Japanese right-wing activists participated in the event, including eight members of parliament. After gathering in the surrounding waters in 21 ships, 10 people landed on the island and stayed for over two hours.
Their gross violation of China's sovereignty has raised an uproar in China, with demonstrations flaring up in numerous cities in the country.
"China strongly opposes Japanese rightists landing on the Diaoyu Islands on Sunday, and urges Japan to put an end to its actions that seek to undermine China's territorial sovereignty," the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Sunday in a statement.
A quick background-check of the right-wing politicians and organizations that sponsored this provocative bid shows that their target of much-sought prize may not be the islands themselves, but rather political leverage that could put them back in the driver's seat back at home.
Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara, who prompted the Japanese government to "nationalize" the Diaoyu Islands with his "island-buying" farce, was notorious for denying the 1937 Nanjing massacre, during which the Japanese aggressor troops killed more than 300,000 Chinese citizens in World War II.
Yoshitaka Shindo, another right-wing politician and a member of Japan's House of Representatives, is the grandson of Tadamichi Kuribayashi, a general of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second World War who was killed in Iwo Jima.
Behind the drape of "mourning the war dead," what these right-wingers are really pursuing is personal political gains, even if it meant exploiting the public's sympathy toward the deceased.
Japanese scholars believe that as the Japanese society is bedeviled by sustained economic downturn and lack of confidence, publications advertizing "the Japan crisis theory" and the "China threat theory" could bring comfort to the public.
Moreover, widespread sorrowful sentiment among the public that Japan has been economically overtaken by China also feeds the right-wingers who advocate getting tough with China.
The narrow-visioned nationalism would only bring destruction to a country, warned Makoto Iokibe, former president of the National Defense Academy of Japan in an article published by the Asahi Shimbun on Sunday.
"Every country is easily emotionalized when it comes to issues of territory. The rightward tendency in Japan has been enhanced recently," he said.
Against this backdrop, if the voices and moves of the right-wingers were unchecked or event expanded, hostility across the East China Sea would increase, further dampening the perspective of closer bilateral ties between Asia's two largest economies and regional stability.
Therefore, "the Japanese government and people should speak in more rational voices and avoid being hijacked by the right-wingers and heading to the extreme," Iokibe said.
BEIJING, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- China strongly opposes Japanese rightists landing on the Diaoyu Islands on Sunday, and urges Japan to put an end to its actions that seek to undermine China's territorial sovereignty, China's Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.
The illegal actions of the Japanese rightists have violated China's territorial sovereignty, and senior officials from the Foreign Ministry have lodged solemn representations to the Japanese ambassador to China, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in the statement. Full story