Japan’s sanctions follow latest US mistakes
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.