China media: Japan tensions

Media criticise Japan’s desire to play a “more assertive” role in Asia, saying this leaves no room for negotiation to solve territorial disputes.

China media: Japan tensions

Media criticise Japan’s desire to play a “more assertive” role in Asia, saying this leaves no room for negotiation to solve territorial disputes.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday said other countries want Japan to adopt a more assertive leadership role in Asia to counter the growing power of China.

Beijing said any attempt by Japan to shoot down Chinese drones would be considered “an act of war”.

The statement was referring to reports that Mr Abe had approved defence plans that envisaged using air force planes to shoot down unmanned Chinese aircraft in Japanese airspace.

Relations between the two nations have been strained over an ongoing dispute about a group of islands in the East China Sea – known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.

The China Daily says “the well-hyped dispute over the Diaoyu Islands, which has created media frenzies in both countries, and grown tenser as a result, may be an explosive flashpoint”.

“The war of rhetoric between the two countries’ maritime authorities, and most recently the militaries, could take an abrupt turn into a physical one at any time,” it adds.

The paper fears further escalation of tensions between China and Japan.

“Our relations with Japan had been fine for decades thanks to the political wisdom of leaders of both countries that managed to keep the territorial dispute in the background. Those days, however, are gone.

“We see no proper starting point for sensible consultation with Mr Abe, who is clearly determined to press ahead with his brinkmanship,” it adds.

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Source: BBC.

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