China's Envoy Calls for Restraint
Monday, November 15, 2004 Posted: 01:22 PM JST
Chinese Ambassador to Japan Wang Yi publicly urged for calm last Saturday. Tensions between the two Asian rivals have flared up after a Chinese nuclear submarine intruded into Japanese national waters this past week. On Friday Japan filed an official protest with the Chinese embassy over the intrusion.
Last Wednesday the submarine appeared in Japanese waters between the southern island of Okinawa. The Japanese Self Defense Forces went on alert and shadowed the submarine for days. The area where the submarine was detected has high strategic importance because of its proximity to Taiwan and underwater natural gas fields.
Recently Chinese protesters were evicted by the Japanese coast guard when they landed on a Japanese island in the area. Tokyo increasingly fears China's growing interest in this area at a time that its military and economic might is expanding dramatically.
China, however, worries about the possibility of a rebirth of Japanese militarism. Wang said Saturday the country is hurt by Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visits to Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo. Japanese war dead, including Class A war criminals, are enshrined here. Because of Koizumi's visits to the shrine there have been no exchanges between the two countries' leaders for three years. Observers believe that this is irresponsible now that relations have become so bad between Asia's two superpowers.
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