Ja­pan’s sanc­tions fol­low lat­est US mis­takes

Global Times - Weekend - - OPINION -

Fol­low­ing US sanc­tions on Chi­nese and Rus­sian com­pa­nies and in­di­vid­u­als on Au­gust 22, the Ja­panese Cab­i­net on Fri­day passed uni­lat­eral sanc­tions, adding four Chi­nese com­pa­nies and a Chi­nese in­di­vid­ual to the list.

Chi­nese For­eign Min­istry spokesper­son Hua Chun­y­ing ex­pressed strong dis­sat­is­fac­tion and firm op­po­si­tion to Ja­pan’s move.

Though Ja­pan’s sanc­tions may lead to losses for the com­pa­nies and the in­di­vid­ual, their im­pact on the Chi­nese econ­omy as a whole will be un­felt. Ja­pan’s moves in­fringe on China’s na­tional in­ter­ests and le­git­i­mate sovereignty.

Ja­pan’s im­po­si­tion of “sec­ondary sanc­tions” is a show of loy­alty to the US, which is al­most rou­tine, and a move to­ward con­tain­ing China, though it’s use­less. It did it in the name of pres­sur­ing North Korea, but was ap­par­ently not aimed at solv­ing the nu­clear cri­sis.

Uni­lat­eral sanc­tions by the US and Ja­pan are il­le­gal and will only worsen the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion. By slap­ping sanc­tions, the two coun­tries are at­tempt­ing to pass on their re­spon­si­bil­ity to China and Rus­sia, a sit­u­a­tion that China will not ac­cept. On the Korean nu­clear cri­sis, the United Na­tions res­o­lu­tions are the only in­ter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized so­lu­tion. China and Rus­sia must make sure that the US and Ja­pan will pay for their uni­lat­eral moves.

Ja­pan isn’t be­hav­ing as it should as the world’s third largest econ­omy. It has been 72 years since the end of World War II, and Ja­pan is still far be­hind its goal of be­com­ing a po­lit­i­cally im­por­tant power. Ja­panese politi­cians are smart in us­ing tac­tics. But they are usu­ally strate­gi­cally twisted and short-sighted, which is un­for­tu­nate for Asia.

Ja­pan tightly binds it­self to the US, and re­jects China’s peace­ful rise to power. Such a choice is based on its sim­plis­tic un­der­stand­ing of power re­la­tions and in­evitably re­sults in a dilemma: It dis­ori­ents it­self when China-US re­la­tions im­prove, but fears the de­te­ri­o­ra­tion of China-US ties. The rise and fall of China-US ties cre­ates a con­tin­u­ous night­mare for Ja­pan. It could have lived more eas­ily, as long as it erases its dark in­ten­tions on China.

This year marks the 45th an­niver­sary of the es­tab­lish­ment of China-Ja­pan diplo­matic ties. His­tory has proven that when­ever Sino-Ja­panese ties im­prove, Ja­pan gains in in­de­pen­dence, and vice versa. The Abe ad­min­is­tra­tion has pushed Ja­pan to­ward an ex­treme di­rec­tion, which shouldn’t be the fate of the Ja­panese. Ja­pan and its peo­ple can have other choices.

North Korea ap­par­ently aims its mis­sile tests to­ward Ja­pan. Ja­pan should take a more con­struc­tive at­ti­tude and con­trib­ute to the res­o­lu­tion of the nu­clear cri­sis. How­ever, it chose to tar­get China even at this mo­ment. Ja­pan will cer­tainly swal­low the con­se­quences of its ac­tion.

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