Sunday, November 14, 2010

Japan Asks: Will Obama Honor It's Commitments to Our Allies?

Thugs of the world like China smell weakness and probably celebrated the election of Obama as President of the United States. Do you see Obama defending and standing up for Japan's right to the island under dispute? Probably not. He bows to kings and dictators and shrugs off democratically elected leaders of nations like England. We elected, for the first time since Wilson and Roosevel,t the worst anti-American President in our history. Now we have to pay the piper for another 2 years then undo all the damage Obama has left in his path.

Obligations: A seemingly minor collision off an obscure Pacific island chain may mean nothing. Then again, it may be about China seeing just how serious we are about our treaty commitments to Japan.

It would be easy to dismiss the recent collision of a Chinese fishing boat with two Japanese Coast Guard vessels as a minor altercation between two former adversaries with a contentious and often bloody history. Easy, that is, if it weren't a continuation of incidents testing Western reaction and will.

The incident occurred off a group of uninhabited rocky outcroppings in the East China Sea just south of Okinawa called the Senkaku Islands. They are called the "Diaoyutai" by the Chinese, who claim them as China's territory largely based on legend and old drawings and paintings depicting the area


....Worth noting is that the waters off the Senkaku Islands are not only rich fishing grounds. They also sit atop significant oil deposits vital to a China scouring the world for energy for its growing economy. Possession of these uninhabited rocks would be the basis for declaring an exclusive economic zone around the islands.

Japan claims that aside from the dispute over who first discovered the islands, the Senkakus became Japanese territory after Japan defeated China in their 1894-95 war. Japan points out that neither Chiang Kai-shek's Republic of China nor Mao Zedong's People's Republic of China protested at the post-war placing of the islets under American administration.

It was only after a 1968 U.N. survey reported the huge oil and gas potential of the area that both competing Chinese governments began to protest against the scheduled 1972 U.S. return of the islets to Japanese control.

So far, the U.S. government has taken no position on ultimate ownership of the Senkakus. But it has noted that, as things currently stand, the islands would be under the purview of the 1960 U.S.-Japan Security Treaty that covers all territories under Japanese administration.

We should make our commitment to Japanese security and sovereignty unmistakably clear. The West failed to do so in 1938, when Nazi Germany claimed sovereignty over a faraway place called the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia. And the rest, as they say, is history.
READ "Testing an Alliance" at IBD.

1 comment:

A. Christensen Johnson said...

Wow, I hadn't heard about that. I'm glad I checked in here. Let's hope we send a signal to our allies as well as our potential enemies that we are a nation that keeps its' word.