What on earth is going on in China?
They are having the most widespread, and even sometimes violent anti-Japan demonstrations in the 40 years since diplomatic relations were normalized in 1972. There are demonstrators in the streets of 85 cities across China. Some pictures show demonstrators with banners demanding China declare war against Japan – even to nuke Japan.
Many Japanese large manufacturers have temporarily closed plants there, and Japanese businesses are genuinely afraid of what is happening.
On top of these bizarre turns of events, the newly appointed Japanese ambassador to China dropped dead just five days after being appointed. He was only 60, and died suddenly on a Tokyo street. The Japanese government says there was no foul play – even though there is still no cause of death. It certainly has increased speculation.
Of course this has to do with the Senkaku islands, which are claimed by both China and Japan, but are effectively under Japanese control. Boats from China have been heading towards there and demonstrators from China have made landings in recent weeks (to get arrested and deported to China).
I don’t know which country really has the strongest historical claim to the islands. And I’m sure that Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara hasn’t helped, with his nationalistic saber rattling and attempts to get Tokyo to buy the islands from their private owners, forcing Japan to up the bidding and by it themselves.
But it’s really strange in the 21st century to see China and Japan go at it like this. Very worrisome. My own opinion is that China, with the “real armed forces” should back off and not send ships into the area. Something could go very wrong.