Island Dispute Foments Between China and Japan
An escalating disagreement between China and Japan over a string of islands in the East China Sea continues to spark protest on both sides.
Protests over the islands, known as the Senkaku by Japan and the Diaoyu by China, grew in Tokyo over the weekend. Japan has bought the islands
privately, but China says it is the rightful owner. Japan believes the group of these tiny islands lies just outside Chinese waters, but Beijing draws the border differently. The islands are also near rich fishing grounds and known to contain large oil deposits.
Earlier this past summer, in late July Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei expressed China’s “grave concern” and “strong displeasure” over what he described as the “highly irresponsible remarks” made by Prime Minister Noda.
Japanese Prime minister Yoshihiko Noda said Japan was ready to send in the military if necessary to protect the disputed islands of Senkaku,
known as the Diaoyu Islands in China. Yoshihiko Noda said,
“If a neighbouring country does something illegal in the vicinity of the Senkaku islands, we will, if need be, send the Self-Defense Forces and deal with this firmly as a nation. But preventive measures and crisis management, including diplomatic solutions, are paramount in order to prevent any such scenario from unfolding.”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei also reaffirmed China’s
determination to safeguard its territorial sovereignty. He added that the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands have been part of China’s inherent territory since ancient times. Hong also took note of Japan’s willingness to solve the issue through diplomatic efforts, and called on them to make concrete efforts in light of over-all Japan-China relations.
Now today, Wednesday September 26, 2012 Japan‘s main opposition party selects a nationalist leader Shinzo Abe who is tipped by some to become prime minister by the
year’s end, raising fears of an increase in tensions with China and South Korea over rival territorial claims.
He has said he wants to water down a 1995 statement by the then socialist prime minister, Tomiichi Murayama, apologising for Japan’s wartime aggression, and to withdraw a 1993 apology for its use of Korean women as sex slaves before and during the war.
Hopefully this rhetoric charged island squabble will abate and these two Asian Powers can resolve this matter diplomatically. “I am concerned
that when these countries engage in provocations of one kind or another over these various islands, that it raises the possibility that a misjudgment on one side or the other could result in violence, and could result in conflict,” U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said this, when asked recently about a clash between Japan and China.
“We do not take a position on the ultimate sovereignty of these islands,” Kurt Campbell, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, told a U.S. Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee.
“That is not in our strategic interest and clearly would undermine the peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific as a whole,” he added.
These uninhabited islets in the East China Sea are “clearly” covered by a 1960 security treaty obligating the United States to come to Japan’s aid if attacked, a top U.S. diplomat says.
E.U. Oil Embargo Increases Economic Pressure on Iran
By: Ryan Matthew Dernick
The European Union will soon discontinue purchases of Iranian oil two weeks from July 1st. China, India, Japan and South Korea are under increasing geopolitical pressures from the Unites States to stop buying Iran’s oil. As of today Iran’s global oil exports are down 20%.
Between the previous barrage of sanctions brought upon Iran in regards to its ongoing nuclear ambitions and the slow clamping off of its oil exportation the Persian country is becoming economically cornered.Iran’s leaders have said they can weather this international pressure despite the difficulties imposed on them already.
Iran has purportedly shut off the G.P.S. systems on their oil tankers to hide their movements, which leads some analysts fearful of possible under the radar smuggling of their crude. Once the European boycott is initiated Iranian exports could very well be cut in half. There is an ever growing fear from the global market community that once the E.U. oil embargo is actualized upon Iran there will be a marked spike in oil prices. The reason for the worrisome speculation is that Iran usually exports 2.2million barrels of oil per day and is already down 600,000 barrels from that.
Muhammad Sahimi is a Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, and holds the NIOC Chair in petroleum engineering at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. On this perceived worry he says,
” There are other oil producers very eager to fill the void in oil demand. Saudi Arabia, Angola, Iraq and more recently Libya have been increasing their oil production and they will be able to compensate for the amount of oil Iran will lose in exports.”
With the growing scrutiny upon Iran, European firms have stopped selling insurance on Iranian oil. This is becoming a pivotal factor in further stymieing Iran’s oil exports.
David Goldwyn former State Department Special Envoy for International Energy Affairs in reference to that factor says ” The denial of insurance to a tanker fleet is the most effective tool that we have because it does not require countries to do anything it just shuts off the access to the trade.”
As the sanctions continue to fly upon Iran only time will tell the eventual outcome from this E.U. oil embargo being firmly set in place.