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China Daily Website

Japan stands to lose if Diaoyu row escalates

Updated: 2012-09-05 14:54
By Han Dongping ( chinadaily.com.cn)

The dispute over the Diaoyu Islands has a great deal of history behind it. It reminds the Chinese people of the past aggression brought against it by the Japanese military state. Therefore, it is easy to see why there have been so many demonstrations among Chinese communities worldwide against Japanese efforts to claim these islands.

These islands have belonged to China for several hundred years up until 1894. On July 26, 1945 as World War II drew to its end, China together with its allies, the US, Great Britain and the Soviet Union ordered Japan to surrender unconditionally in the historical document Potsdam Proclamation.

The above mentioned four victors of WWII decided to limit Japan's territory to its four main islands, depriving Japan of all overseas territories it had gained through military aggression since World War I.

We are still living in a post WWII world.The US still has military bases in Japan as the result of the US occupation of Japan following WWII. The UN Security Council still consists of the victors of WWII.

The Japanese attempts to claim the Diaoyu Islands constitutes a challenge to the verdict of WWII. All the permanent members of the UN Security Council have a legal and moral obligation to enforce the verdict of the WWII.

China, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and as the rightful owner of the Diaoyu Islands, has the special obligation to enforce the verdict of WWII.

The dispute over the Diaoyu Islands originated from the US decision to return the administration of the Diaoyu Islands to Japan in 1972 during the Cold War. The Chinese government protested the US decision then. Over six thousand overseas Chinese students from all over the world launched a huge movement in the US to protest that decision. Ever since, the US maintained it takes no side in the territorial dispute over the islands.

However, it also claims the US Japan Security Treaty covers the disputed territory of the Diaoyu Islands. This position of ambiguity has been typical of the US in its dealing with territorial disputes in the past, playing off the parties involved.

The US should be careful with its words and deeds because its words and action carry special weight in this world. China should not allow the US to get away with this game of ambiguity involving its territory. China needs to know if the US is prepared to take a hostile position against 1.5 billion Chinese people worldwide for the sake of Japan's unjust claim of ownership to the Diaoyu Islands. Territory disputes are serious and often result in wars and military confrontations.

As a victor of WWII, and a member of UN Security Council, the US has the obligation to ensure the Chinese people get the justice they earned with their horrific war efforts against Japanese aggression.

China is one of the four victors of WWII, and a permanent member of UN Security Council. It is also the only permanent Security Council member with territorial integrity issues. As a permanent member of UN Security Council, China should discuss the dispute over the Diaoyu Islands at the Security Council in order to peacefully resolve the issue with Japan.

Because of the Cold War and American encouragement, the Japanese Government has been wanton in its refusal to admit its past war crimes against the Chinese people and other Asian nations. It has refused to take the lessons of WWII to heart, and has refused to start the process of reconciliation with the Chinese people and its other Asian neighbors.

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