Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Diaoyu is our land!

So it's not just the Koreans who have maritime territorial disputes with Japan. A Taiwanese warship has been sent to the fishing grounds around the disputed Diaoyu Islands (called the Senkaku Islands by the Japanese) in an apparent show of strength after complaints of harassment by Japanese patrol boats.

Location of Diaoyu Islands.

China also claims these islands (not to mention, all of Taiwan, which in turn claims all of China, so there).

Tokto/Takeshima redux? Listen to Parliament speaker Wang Jin-pyng and decide for yourself:
This area belongs to us historically, geographically, and legally. We must defend our sovereignty and protect our fishing rights.
Or how about this from a Taiwanese fisherman:
It's good to see it's finally our turn to scare the Japanese. They have always bullied us and make us feel we are thieves at sea.
And from opposition parliamentarian May Chin:
The entire nation is waiting for the government to show its guts and stand up to Japan.
According to the BBC, Taiwanese fishermen have been protesting against being frequently driven out of the waters by Japanese patrol boats. This is all a bit odd considering how so many critics of China and the Koreas have cited the Taiwanese people's love of Japan as a sign that at least one former colony didn't really mind former colonizer Japan's increasing militarism.

Wang Jin-pyng points at disputed Diaoyu Islands.

And just as Japan's Tokto declarations have led some Koreans to think they'll have a better ally in Beijing, some Taiwanese fishermen have reportedly called for protection from China, Taiwan's historical arch-rival.

While it would be tempting to gloat a little that Japan is having almost the same problem with another "ally," I really wish Tokyo (and Seoul, and now Taipei) would get their act together and see that they have far, far more in common than they realize, and they make better friends than adversaries. Just as important, they all need to stand together in the face of a rising China.


  1. Don't forget Japan's dispute with Russia for those islands north of Hokkaido...

  2. *seemingly irrelevant comment ahead*

    Nah, JET's great. I just happen to be hopelessly in love with someone who is 6000 miles away, and I feel the need to chart my progress toward the goal of reunion.

    I wish I had "epic" dreams.

  3. Sannakji,
    I don't forget the Kurile Islands. I helped work on a documentary on them (nature-related, not political) for our mom-and-pop network.

  4. Cinnacism,
    Do you mean you want to work for EPIK, Korea's equivalent of JET?

    Don't do it!

    There are great teaching opportunities here for people who have experience, but EPIK is probably not the way to go.

    Ask me how!

  5. Wow, that's impressive. I remember quite a few years ago when I spent New Years in Japan and on the TV they had emotional scenes of the residents of the Kurile Islands waving at the Japanese ships just in international waters. Next thing you know the Japanese will be asserting their claim over Chejudo...

  6. K: And from opposition parliamentarian May Chin: The entire nation is waiting for the government to show its guts and stand up to Japan.

    Pretty funny quote, considering that any country today can stand up to Japan, given the aftermath of WWII. Now, if they had stood up to Japan pre-WWII, when the Japanese had a dozen aircraft carriers and more battleships than you could shake a stick at, that would have been impressive. Heck if they stood up to China, which is now today's equivalent of pre-WWII Japan, that would be impressive.

  7. you have an interesting blog. much more thought provoking and in depth analysis than mine. :)

    and i already know that i can make a decent living in korea teaching at a hagwon... i even already have the F4 visa. i just want to do it on the fulbright instead. :)

  8. Good that you already have the F-4, Rog, but what I meant was that you could do something productive while you're here as well, like go to grad school at Yonsei, Korea, Ewha, or something like that, for which you could earn money along the way.

    Fulbright is great (whether as an ETA or an academic), but not the only way to go.

  9. Kushibo always finds somthing bad about japan and makes excuses for korea. What a shit eater.

  10. That was a well thought out argument Anonymous... intelligent to the end!

  11. "Stand together in the face of a rising China?"

    Does this mean that you subscribe to the American neoconservative view that China is a threat that needs to be contained? If so, I am a bit surprised, given that you seem to be a supporter of the "Sunshine Policy."

    I would like to hear more about your comprehensive views on China--perhaps on another Blog essay?

  12. Well san nakji you are a well known bigot. People like you make me sick.

  13. Anonymous, it is completely gutless to make such attacks under the cover of anonymity.

    Either reveal who you are so that this is a level playing field (and so we can be sure that there is only one obnoxious "anonymous" here) or go somewhere else.

  14. Anon, now that you have learned that word bigot, why don't you look it up? There's a good lad!

  15. Wrote a post last month on yet another of these island territorial disputes in the South China Sea, known to the Japanese as Okinotori. What I liked about this story is that it shows that Koreans do not have a monopoly on irrational-seeming obsessions with small bits of rock (or in this case coral).

  16. Kushibo, it is you who have chosen to use a forum that makes people log into. If people do not want to get a blogger account then that is why they choose to be anomymous.

  17. PS, you are a korean shit eater. You remind me of Jeffrey Miller of the Korea times. He too is a little worm.

  18. What intelligent posts. What more can you say?


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