Noilly Prattle: them thar's fightin' words....

Saturday, September 29, 2012

them thar's fightin' words....

         The heated tit for tat verbal (so far) confrontations in the United Nations among the East Asian powers disputing the ownership of a few scattered rocks in the seas around here are digging up the bitter roots of discord left over from the aftermath of the Pacific War theater of World War II. Unlike Germany, Japan has never really confronted its role in the run up to the war, nor has it seriously acknowledged its role in fostering enmity with its occupied neighbors or come to terms with its defeat. And, so we have the current escalating rounds of accusation and counteraccusation in the United Nations.

A few quotes from these confrontations tell the story:

The Japan Times--Kyodo News

Kim Sung Hwan
South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung Hwan said: "We are victims of Japanese colonial rule. When the Japanese government claims Dokdo is their territory, Korean people (take) it as another attempt to invade our country. So that's the Korean sentiment and I hope that the Japanese government understands this."
"It's in sharp contrast with what Germany did to get the support and respect from the neighboring countries" after World War II, Kim said. "If Japan does it, I'm sure they can (get) respect from neighboring countries."

Yang Jiechi
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi...claiming the East China Sea isles have been part of Chinese territory since "ancient times," said that "Japan stole Diaoyu Dao and its affiliated islands from China" after winning the 1894-1895 Sino-Japanese War. He claimed that Japan "forced the then Chinese government to sign an unequal treaty to cede these islands and other Chinese territories to Japan," but after its defeat in World War II, Tokyo was obligated by international treaties to return them to China.

Osamu Fujimura

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura told a news conference that Yang's remarks were "totally groundless," and called on both sides to “act calmly with each other from a broad perspective, while fostering and maintaining communication."

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang dismissed Japan's acquisition of the islets as "totally invalid and illegal," and said that by taking such unilateral action "the Japanese government has grossly violated China's sovereignty. This is an outright denial of the outcomes of the victory of the war and poses a grave challenge to the postwar international order" and the U.N. Charter, he said.

Japan's deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Kazuo Kodama, said, in a rebuttal session, the Senkakus are "clearly an inherent territory of Japan based on historical facts and international law." Kodama alleged that China only laid claim to the Senkakus in the 1970s after U.N. studies indicated potentially lucrative gas reserves may lie around them.

China's ambassador to the United Nations, Li Baodong, then escalated the rhetoric, saying: "The recent so-called island purchase by the Japanese government is nothing different from money laundering. Its purpose is to legalize its stealing and occupation of the Chinese territory through this illegal means and to confuse international public opinion and deceive the world."

As one of our dearly departed writers used to say: And so it goes.....

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