Tension is high in Asia as several countries in the region are involved in territorial disputes particularly in the China Sea. China is in the forefront for being in conflict with Japan and other Asian nations.
China has been in a row for years now over islands which it claims to be part of its territory. It claims most parts of the South China Sea and does not accept any claims to any part of those areas from countries such as Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.
China-Japan Islands Dispute
While China insists it owns most of the islands in the South China Sea, it is also claiming ownership of the Senkaky/Daioyu islands in the East China Sea currently controlled by Japan. Since 1895, the area has been controlled by Japan but China has been stressing that the islands have long been the fishing ground of its people.
The eight small islands are considered rich in marine resources and have a great potential for oil reserves. Last year, China declared a no fly zone over the area saying aircraft that need to pass there should get permission from them first.
These conflicts over the small islands have greatly affected governments and their political leaders causing tension among the countries’ relationships. They have also led to a rise in nationalism in Japan which is not surprising as citizens often come together to make a united stand and protect their country when being attacked by foreign forces.
U.S. President Barack Obama himself has expressed his full support to Japan. In his recent visit to the country as part of his tour of Asia, he committed his country’s support to its ally saying they will make every effort to protect the country should an armed conflict arises.
More recently, China warned Japan not to interfere in its other disputes over the South China Sea. The country said Japan should instead take appropriate actions that will ensure peace and stability in the region.
Japan has also been put in a hot seat due to its wartime history which China continues to highlight. The country has been accused by China for staging the Nanking massacre in 1937. The mass killings which claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Chinese refugees are being blamed on the Japanese Imperial Army.
Japan has strongly denied this issue and supporters have been defending their mother country in as many avenues as they can. Groups supportive of Japan have been spreading their campaign and have used the internet to make their stand and refute accusations by the Chinese. They have set up websites where they posted detailed explanations of the real events that took place during the Second World War and photos of Japanese soldiers interacting and helping out refugees including the Nanking massacre survivors.
As to when these conflicts will be resolved, nobody knows. But one thing is for sure, the sense of nationalism among the Japanese will continue to be heard and felt.