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Will Japan and China Go to War?

January 24, 2014


Will Japan and China Go to War?

by Jerry Robinson

Communications between Beijing and Tokyo have almost completely broken down in recent weeks as mounting territorial disputes threaten to push the world’s second and third largest economies ever closer to all-out military conflict. At the root of the conflict are deep historical grievances from decades past that are now emerging in the form of a sharp war of words over territory within the South China Sea. Additionally, a recent trip by Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine (in order to commemorate fallen Japanese soldiers) was sharply condemned by China as the glorification of Japan’s “war criminals” who were responsible for “horrific acts” against much of East Asia in the first half of the 20th century. Indeed, Japan’s past military actions were “horrific” and included the massacre of millions. However, China is no saint, as it is one of history’s worst offenders of mass democide.

Japan is currently warning the world of China’s intentions of pursuing military aggression in the region. Speaking in Davos, Prime Minister Abe stated: “We must… restrain military expansion in Asia, which could otherwise go unchecked,” and added that “military budgets should be made completely transparent and there should be public disclosure in a form that can be verified.” Good luck with that. China’s lack of transparency is heavily ingrained and their rising military strength will continue to threaten the entire region. Tensions have risen so much that Japan’s ruling party has just recently dropped their long-standing pledge to “never wage war again.” Any keen observer can clearly see that this situation will eventually boil over into a full-scale war that will likely involve much of East Asia. And because the U.S. is treaty-bound to Japan, American military forces will be thrust into the confrontation when the time comes. China is acutely aware of U.S. involvement in any future conflict which perfectly explains why they are developing new hypersonic missile vehicles that are specifically designed to target U.S. aircraft carriers. In addition, China has yet another aircraft carrier under construction along with a new fleet of long-range stealth bombers and the world’s biggest marine surveillance ship.

Hopefully, cooler heads will prevail in the near term. But a future conflict in the region is inevitable. And because China remains the world’s economic growth engine, the global economy — along with the “recovering” U.S. economy and its fragile fiat paper currency — will be one of the first major victims when the bombs begin to fall. But all this aside, the verdict is still out on whether the U.S. would be foolish enough to bite the hand that feeds it. If it comes down to it, Japan may be on its own after all.

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