Some unimpressed with ‘Caroline Kennedy fever’

– What, it asks, has Caroline done two months into her tenure? Played much and worked little, is its verdict.

– Was that a time, the weekly asks, for the U.S. ambassador to indulge in private sightseeing? As it happened, it adds, the embassy’s No. 2 official was away that day too – skiing

– “An insult to Japan” is how Winston Lord, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs under President Bill Clinton, characterized Kennedy’s appointment, according to Shukan Shincho. How long, the magazine wonders, is “Caroline fever” likely to last?

 

Kuchikomi Feb. 03, 2014 – 06:19AM JST

TOKYO —

“Fevers” come and fevers go. Japan is especially prone to them, says Shukan Shincho (Jan 30). Still fresh in the collective memory are: “Makiko Tanaka fever,” “Junichiro Koizumi fever,” “Toru Hashimoto fever” – the once frenzied, now forgotten or much deflated adulation surrounding these individuals (a former foreign minister, a foreign prime minister and the current Osaka mayor, respectively). Continue reading “Some unimpressed with ‘Caroline Kennedy fever’”

Chinese leaders will not speak with Abe / the Chinese people will certainly not welcome him

(Xinhua) 07:11, December 31, 2013

BEIJING, Dec. 30 — Chinese leaders will not have any dialogue with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said here Monday.

“In regard to such a Japanese leader, the Chinese people will certainly not welcome him, and the Chinese leaders will unquestionably not speak with him either,” Qin said at a regular press briefing.

Qin made the remarks in response to a question on whether China will allow Abe to visit China or whether Chinese leaders will meet with Abe.

“Abe has made wrong calculations on China-Japan relations and made one mistake after another,” Qin said. Continue reading “Chinese leaders will not speak with Abe / the Chinese people will certainly not welcome him”

China must retaliate for Japanese prime minister’s war shrine visit: official media

Official media warns China will become a ‘paper tiger’ if countermeasures against Japan are not taken over Yasukuni visit

PUBLISHED : Friday, 27 December, 2013, 11:46am
UPDATED : Friday, 27 December, 2013, 12:16pm

Agence France-Presse in Beijing

abe_pek50_40011785.jpg

Japan’s ambassador to China Masato Kitera (centre) in Beijing after being summoned by China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Photo: Reuters

China must take “excessive” counter-measures after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s controversial war shrine visit, state-run media urged on Friday, reflecting the smouldering resentment among Chinese at its onetime invader. Continue reading “China must retaliate for Japanese prime minister’s war shrine visit: official media”

Abe says he is ready to be more assertive against China / “If Japan does resort to enforcement measures like shooting down aircraft, that is a serious provocation to us, an act of war.” China’s Defense Ministry

Politics Oct. 27, 2013 – 06:00AM JST ( 12 )

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 opts to 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.

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2013.

http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/abe-says-he-is-ready-to-be-more-assertive-against-china

 

10 million sign petition for rescue of abductees from N Korea

National Apr. 27, 2013 – 07:10AM JST ( 10 )

TOKYO —

An association started by the family of Megumi Yokota who was abducted by North Korea, is preparing to present a petition calling for the rescue of her and other abductees to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The association said Friday it had received from Saitama Gov Kiyoshi Ueda a petition containing 356,192 signatures, taking the total number of signatures to over 10 million. The association is planning to hand the petition to Abe at a public gathering on Saturday.

Yokota’s parents are still campaigning for her return, despite persistent claims that she committed suicide as the result of depression after being abducted and taken to North Korea in 1977. However, her death was later disputed by a North Korean defector in 2011. Yokota was one of at least 17 Japanese citizens kidnapped by North Korea in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The North Korean government admitted to kidnapping Yokota 20 years after her initial disappearance. Yokota’s parents and others in Japan refuse to believe reports of her death and a controversial DNA test on her cremated remains was inconclusive. Her parents believe their daughter, who would now be 49 years old, is still alive in North Korea and and they and relatives of other abductees have been collecting signatures as part of a public campaign seeking their return to Japan.

Japan Today

http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/10-million-sign-petition-for-rescue-of-abductees-from-n-korea

 

“Regarding Senkaku, there is no change to my position to resolutely protect this water and territory. There is no room for negotiation on this,”

Japan PM criticises targeting of firms in China row

AFP Friday, Jan 11, 2013

TOKYO – China was “wrong” to deliberately target Japanese business interests as part of a state campaign in a row over disputed territory, Japan’s hawkish new prime minister Shinzo Abe said on Friday.

“For political ends, harming Japanese companies and individuals in China that contribute to the Chinese economy and society – I want to say it is wrong for a responsible nation state in the international community,” Mr Abe said.

“It not only harms bilateral relations, it has a significantly negative influence on China’s economy and its society,” he said at a news conference in the latest barb aimed at China.

Japan’s ties with China have remained tense for months as the two nations repeatedly stage maritime standoffs in waters around disputed isles called the Senkakus in Japan and the Diaoyus in China.

Chinese government ships have been seen off the disputed islands numerous times since Japan nationalised them in September, sometimes within the 12 nautical mile territorial zone.

A state-owned Chinese plane flew through airspace over the islands early last month. Tokyo responded by scrambling fighter jets and said it was the first time Beijing had breached its airspace since at least 1958.

“Regarding Senkaku, there is no change to my position to resolutely protect this water and territory. There is no room for negotiation on this,” Mr Abe said.

http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Asia/Story/A1Story20130111-394768.html