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Foreign Policy Analysis
U.S. taking sides in diplomatic row between Japan and China

U.S. taking sides in diplomatic row between Japan and China

The United States… which has been navigating
disputes between Japan and China for decades now,… is sticking up for Tokyo… in the
latest one. The two Asian nations are in the middle of
a diplomatic row over historical and territorial issues.
Our foreign affairs correspondent Hwang Sung-hee … reports.
The United States is siding with Japan in a dispute with China that’s brewing over historical
and territorial issues,.. and the bi-annual Western Pacific Naval Symposium next month
is shaping up as centear stage. China has invited all participating nations
to take part in an international fleet review where they can parade their ships, with one
exception: Japan. Washington has said no American ships will
sail… if no Japanese ships do. This is not the first time the U.S. has been
drawn into the escalating diplomatic row between Japan and China.
Late last year, China sparked a trans-Pacific uproar by declaring an air defense identification
zone, giving itself the right to identify and take military action against aircraft
near the Japan-controlled Senkaku Island, which is also claimed by China.
Washington defied Beijing by sending military planes into the zone unannounced. In another sign of support for Japan, U.S.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel welcomed Tokyo’s push for collective self-defense by altering
its war-renouncing constitution. Hagel said Sunday in Tokyo that Japan was
playing a proactive role in contributing to global and regional peace and stability. Whether Hagel will address the fleet review
issue during his visit in Beijing remains unclear, but experts say China may not want
Japanese warships in its waters because of Japan’s occupation of China during the Second
World War. Amid the regional spat, South Korea, a country
also mired in a diplomatic dispute with Japan, is tightening its bond with China.
According to sources Monday, Seoul’s Financial Supervisory Service Governor Choi Soo-hyun
met his Chinese counterpart in Beijing last week and agreed to bolster financial cooperation.
In the past, South Korea had maintained closer economic ties with Japan.
The two neighbors will also conduct a joint study of Japan’s wartime sexual enslavement
of women through historical documents preserved in China.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.

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