Tuesday, August 27, 2013
On June 13, 2013, the U.S. President Barack Obama had a phone conversation with the Japanese prime minister Abe Shinzo regarding the Obama-Xi Summit. According to the Japanese media the 30-minute phone call between Obama and Abe wherein Obama briefed Abe about Obama’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in California late last week. About eight hours after the Obama-Xi talk, both leaders discussed the Diaoyu Islands. President Obama issued a “strong warning” to President Xi “not to threaten Japan” by using the military regarding the Diaoyu Islands (Kyoto News, June 13, 2013). The Chinese media have been asked from whom the Japanese media received the information, but the Japanese media has not willing to providing the sources. In the Obama-Xi summit, only interpreters were allowed to stay in the meeting (not even any media including Chinese and American ones). Interestingly, by midnight, the White House released the following information (June 12, 2013):
The President spoke to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe today to discuss regional security and economic issues. They pledged to continue to work together closely toward the elimination of North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The leaders discussed the President’s recent meetings with President Xi Jinping of China, and agreed on the importance of ensuring stability and pursuing dialogue as it relates to the East China Sea. The President stressed that the United States looks forward to being able to welcome Japan to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations as early as possible once current TPP members complete their domestic requirements. Finally, the two leaders expressed the shared desire to work together closely at the up-coming G8 Summit in Northern Ireland (emphasis added).It is unusual for the White House to release the information in the midnight when all media was closed. The White House did not even mention the name of the Diaoyu Islands or the Senkaku as usual the U.S. has referenced only the East China Sea. Apparently, Obama does not want to be involved in something that he did not say. Nor does Obama wish to be drawn into the deep water by Japan regarding the Diaoyu disputes. In addition, at the G8 summit, Obama did not have a bilateral meeting at all even though Japan wished to have one. The question is how the Japanese media are going to take their responsibility? Why did the Japanese government not check the sources before talking to the global presses?
Friday, August 16, 2013
Recently, Abe Shinzo has been lucky--the LDP won the Tokyo metropolitan election in June and the upper house election in July. However, he is also unlucky, many heavyweight or influential politicians have begun to speak out regarding the Diaoyu Islands.
Sources: NNN (Access date: July 30, 2013).
On June 27, Hatoyama Yukio, the former prime minister, expressed his understanding that China believed that the Diaoyu Islands were among territories Japan promised to return after World War II. He made the comments during a public event attended by former Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying, who now chairs the NPC Foreign Affairs Committee (Jiji Press June 27, 2013). “I think we should learn from the wisdom of Chinese Primer Zhou Enlai and Japanese Prime Minister Tanaka Kakuei who reached a verbal agreement to put the issue aside and leave it to future generations to decide,” Hatoyama said at the Third Global Think Tank Summit in China (BBC June 29, 2013).
Sources: Yahoo News (Access date: August 1., 2013).
By now, Abe had begun to calculate how much he was willing to compromise with Beijing or how much he will use his hawkish style of doctrine to provoke the Chinese leaders before he could have Sino-Japanese summit meeting.