‘TINDERBOX’ IN ASIA
A former U.S. ambassador to Japan this week warned that Chinese aggression in the region is like a “tinderbox” that could erupt in flames and endanger Washington’s strongest ally in Asia.
John Thomas Schieffer, who served in Tokyo from 2005 to 2009, said at a seminar in Tokyo that the U.S. shares Japan’s anxiety over China’s belligerence in the East and South China seas and its claim on islands recognized as Japanese territory.
He compared the dispute over Japan’s Senkaku islands to “tinderboxes that can be lit quickly,” Japan’s Kyodo News reported.
Ichiro Fukisaki, a former Japanese ambassador to the U.S., said he shares Mr. Schieffer’s concerns but added that the U.S.-Japanese defense treaty is the “biggest deterrence” to Chinese military adventurism.
Last month, Secretary of State John F. Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel traveled to Japan to meet with Foreign Affairs Minister Fumio Kishida and Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera to discuss strengthening the 1952 defense pact.