BEIJING, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- Despite widespread media reports that Tokyo has decided to shelve an island recapture military drill that was apparently intended against China, there is no confirmation yet from the Japanese authorities.
The absence of a clear position from Tokyo on the issue is quite like hiding a ticking time bomb rather than defusing the explosive device right away, at a time when China-Japan relations shouldn't be dealt any further blows.
Bilateral ties between the two Asian neighbors have grown ever tense since April when Japanese right-wing politician Shintaro Ishihara introduced a plan to purchase the Diaoyu Islands from so-called private owners, disregarding the fact that the islands are China's inherent territory.
To make the matter worse, the Japanese government, apparently in an attempt to divert national attention from the lackluster economy, pursued the "nationalization" of the islands.
Apart from pooling nationalist sentiments inside Japan, Tokyo has also tried to drag in outside powers to support its case. However, it seems the second tactic has so far failed to elicit any actual backing, except some vaguely worded statements from its closest ally.
Still, it is worth noticing that the words and deeds of the Japanese authorities regarding this territorial dispute with China have in effect pushed Japan's politics further to the right.
Japanese Transport Minister Yuichiro Hata and Postal Minister Mikio Shimoji, along with a bunch of lawmakers, have visited the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors 2.5 million Japanese war dead, including 14 convicted Class A war criminals.
The shrine visits, first by serving ministers from the Democratic cabinet, sound an alarm that Japanese militarism is lurking around and could stage a comeback if the current trend goes unchecked.
Such a prospect evokes the worst memories of people from many Asian countries, which severely suffered wartime atrocities committed by Japanese invaders during World War II.
Now it seems a quite opportune moment for Tokyo to reflect on the link between its refusal to face history and strained relations with neighbors.
Another thing for the Japanese side to avoid at such a delicate time is a willful show of military muscle of any form, whether it involves the recapture of a remote island or not.
China opposes Japanese military drills: DM spokesman
BEIJING, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- China has voiced stern opposition to Japan's joint military exercise operations with "extraterritorial nations."
"We sternly oppose Japan wooing extraterritorial nations for joint military drills that only increase regional tensions," Ministry of Defense spokesman Yang Yujun said at a Thursday press conference. Full story
[Video] Japan, U.S. to hold joint island drill in November
BEIJING, Oct. 14 (Xinhuanet) -- Japan’s Kyodo News agency says a joint Japan-US exercise is to be held in November, simulating the retaking of a remote island.
Troops from Japan’s self defense forces will work alongside US troops stationed in Japan, for the drill near an inhabited island in Okinawa prefecture. The Island exercises are part of an overall joint drill being held from November the 5th to the 16th. Full story
China confirms surveillance ships patrolling near Diaoyu Islands
BEIJING, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman confirmed on Thursday that Chinese maritime surveillance ships had entered the 12-nautical-mile zone around the Diaoyu Islands. Full story
Senior Chinese diplomat urges Japan to correct mistakes on Diaoyu Islands issue
GENEVA, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- A senior Chinese diplomat urged Japan on Wednesday to immediately stop all activities that violate China's territorial sovereignty, take concrete actions to correct its mistakes and return to the track of negotiation with China for resolving the dispute over Diaoyu Islands. Full story