Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attends ASEAN summit, Brunei, Oct. 10, 2013.
October 26, 2013
日本首相参加东盟峰会 文莱 2013.10.10
TOKYO — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in an interview published on Saturday, said Japan was ready to be more assertive towards China as Beijing threatened to strike back if provoked.
A top retired Chinese diplomat said any move by Tokyo to contain China could amount to an attempt to conceal ulterior motives in the region and prove to be "extremely dangerous."
And the defense ministry warned Japan not to underestimate China's resolve to take whatever measures were needed to protect itself.
Abe, interviewed by The Wall Street Journal, said Japan should take the lead in guarding against what he said might be an attempt by China to use force to attain its diplomatic goals.
He said he had realized at recent meetings with South East Asian leaders that the region sought leadership from Tokyo in terms of security amid China's more forthright diplomacy.
"There are concerns that China is attempting to change the status quo by force, rather than by rule of law. But if China optsto take that path, then it won't be able to emerge peacefully," he told the newspaper.
-"So it shouldn't take that path and many nations expect Japan to strongly express that view. And they hope that as a result, China will take responsible action in the international community."
China took issue with a Japanese media report saying Abe had approved a policy for Japan to shoot down foreign drones that ignore warnings to leave its airspace.
"Don't underestimate the Chinese army's resolute will and determination to protect China's territorial sovereignty," Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said on the ministry's website.
"If Japan does resort to enforcement measures like shooting down aircraft, that is a serious provocation to us, an act of war.
"We will undertake decisive action to strike back, with every consequence borne by the side that caused the trouble," Geng added.
Relations have deteriorated sharply in the past year, with the main sticking point being conflicting claims to uninhabited islets in the East China Sea, known in Japan as the Senkaku islands and in China as Diaoyu. Ties have taken a further battering over visits by Japanese lawmakers this month to the Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo honoring both war dead and Japanese leaders convicted as war criminals.
China is also at odds with several South East Asian states contesting its claims to large swathes of the South China Sea.
Former Chinese foreign minister Tang Jiaxuan, addressing a forum in Beijing, said that Japan hoped to enlist the United Nations and the international community to curb China's actions in the region, according to media reports.
Tang made no reference to Abe's latest comments, but said any attempt to contain China either amounted to a distorted view of China or "the rendering of an image of the 'Chinese menace' to achieve an ulterior political goal."
"I hope it's the former, because if it's the latter, not only is it futile, it is also extremely dangerous."
President Xi Jinping adopted a more conciliatory tone at a conference on diplomacy this week, saying good relations with neighbors were crucial to a stable foreign policy.
Abe took office last year for a rare second term and is seen as a hawkish nationalist with a conservative agenda that includes revising a post-war pacifist constitution drafted by the United States, strengthening Japan's defense posture and recasting wartime history with a less apologetic tone.
by: Nguyen Nguyen from: Vietnam（来自越南）
October 27, 2013 4:39 PM
I am from Vietnam and I totally support Japan's effort to be more assertive to protect herself. China is the aggressor in Asia now. If you want to talk about hypocrisies then China is the perfect examples. The atrocities the Hans Chinese committed to surrounding countries in many centuries, including Vietnam is thousands of times worse than what Japan did in WWII.
by: Victor Nunnally from: Wilmington, NC（来自美国）
October 27, 2013 4:26 PM
Before The Reformation, there will be a great war. China is provoking it with long and sharp talons and a stoic face. There is something about the name Abe that signifies wisdom and strength. Who is baiting who?
by: van from: vietnam（来自越南）
October 27, 2013 8:55 AM
the country that vietnam hates móst ís china .and the country that vlike most is japan . in any situation , we will support japan.
by: michael qian from: China（来自中国）
October 26, 2013 10:50 PM
I have some words to tell the Japanese。Go to Germany and have a look what they had to do to the war and Nazi。And compare with what some Japanese politicians had said about the war any one can draw a conclusion that your apology is not from your heart。No one will believe in a hypocrite
by: James from: Japan（来自日本）
October 27, 2013 11:24 AM
Well the arrogance of the Chinese will be there own undoing...enough said.
by: littlepo from: taiwan（来自台湾）
October 26, 2013 9:41 PM
i am from Taiwan , and we totally support Japan in her position to counter China , what said by biab is totally wrong , because we're in 2013 , the threat of Asia is China , not Japan . not to mention that before WWII , the warlords in China are much worse than the so-called brutal Japan Empire Army at that time , and even now the democratic Japan is much better than the brutal Chinese Government , it's true that if China is ruled by Japan , their people would live a much better life compared to theirs now.
All the country of East Asia should counter China to pursuit the ideal big East Asia and of course peacefully.
by: Yoshi from: Sapporo（来自日本城市）
October 27, 2013 8:02 PM
Thank you for your comment. It is well known that the the number of Taiwanese visiters to Japan has been number one among foreign countries. Taiwan has been annexed to Japan before the WWII the same as Korea, but the sentiment to Japan is extremely different between Taiwanese nad Koreans now. What causes it? I guess, as you say, the way of ruleing by warlords of continent China at the beginning of post wwII was not good for Taiwanese conmapred with the pre-WWII Japanese way.
by: joseph from: nigeria（来自尼日利亚）
October 27, 2013 6:52 AM
michael she is truly from taiwan because she has also experienced chinese hostility towards her country. if not america offcourse china would have attacked taiwan long ago. your country is knowm all over the world to cheat their way to success. in africa we are aware of your exploits and your bugged african building you donated . we totally support new pivot to asia.
by: Michael from: China（来自中国）
October 26, 2013 10:54 PM
I doubt you are really from Taiwan .If you are really from Taiwan,I believe you should know the meaning of 汉奸.
by: biab from: nanjing china（来自中国南京）
October 26, 2013 5:45 PM
Just think about what Japan did in the WW2 to all of the world,especially to China 、Korea and its other neighbours!!!!!!!
What is it doing now?
"revising a post-war pacifist constitution" ,
"strengthening Japan's defense posture and recasting wartime history with a less apologetic tone"!!!!!
by: tooth for tooth from: Hokkaido Japan（来自日本北海道）
October 26, 2013 9:02 PM
If china is a the awake sleeping dragon before, don't push japan to wake the sleeping samurai that we are before. Yes, we have a bad history. But we regret it. We are not proud of what our grandfathers did. We keep on pacifying things up by making diplomacy at all means, but if a country pushes us to our limit, like china or any other country in the world, we are more advance and capable of dealing with pushers.