Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Meanwhile, in Japan ...

Japan has become remote from the world's news in the past few years. There was a time when it featured along with the US in every global analysis or comment piece, but China has largely overshadowed Japan during a period of long economic stagnation for the latter. It's still big and still there, but just below the horizon, or until now, it seems. 

At the heart of the current territorial dispute between Japan and China are a bunch of islands far away from the Japanese home islands. After WWII all Japan's outlying claims and territories were nullified, her territory limited to the cluster of home islands only. China assumed ownership of Senkaku but unlike Russia with the Kurils didn't stake it, or at least not until 1971. Unlike Germany, Japan quietly repudiated the post-war penalty laid on her in terms of territory and has been actively reclaiming her pre-war territory.

Heightened nationalism in both nations at a time of political and economic uncertainty has led to some loud sabre rattling, not unlike that which we're experiencing over both Gibraltar and the Falklands. And there most folk think things will stay. However, don't forget the Japanese character. Economically, Mr Abe is about to take a massive gamble to re-start the Japanese economy - "He is expected to announce a new governor next week who is willing to tear up the rule book and try the sort of radical policies that pulled Japan out of its slump in the early 1930s" comments Ambrose in the Telegraph. Let's just hope that fiddling with the Yen is all that Japan reprises from the 1930s.

9 comments:

Barnacle Bill said...

Up early Raedwald?

This could be one of those "Black Swan" events that catches everyone off guard.
Eyes focussed on the Euro or, the US of A going over a cliff again, whilst things go breasts up in the Far East.

Blue Eyes said...

The Japs are not the Argies.

However the Japanese do seem to be very deferential to the establishment, so maybe whipping up support wouldn't be as hard as it might be in other cultures.

Demetrius said...

Snap, I posted on Japan today.

Anonymous said...

Navy ain't big enough, or daft enough.

Anonymous said...

The second world war started in the far east.
Just sayin.
Hands in pockets, walks away, whistling.

Anonymous said...

In spite of the UK PC stuff racism/ nationalism is very much still there. And available for almost any political adventure.
Not every nation goes around apologising for everything.

TrT said...

"Navy ain't big enough, or daft enough."

The Japanese Navy is ****ing huge.
More men than the Royal Navy and no attempt to operate far from home.

Anonymous said...

If it did kick off between China and Japan how would it go? I know China`s army is massive but how big is Japan`s?and how good are they? Could the Japanese hold them?

James Higham said...

Sabres are being rattled in a number of theatres right now. How long peace?