A risky game over Japan's disputed islands
News On Japan via Time -- Apr 21

Whether it's a genuine attempt to steer Japan's foreign policy or a clever ploy to annoy political leaders in both Japan and China, Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara's plan to buy three disputed islands in the East China Sea is a dangerous game that has the potential to drag both Japan and the U.S. into a shooting war.

"This is a very serious issue and it's full of uncertainties. If it's not handled properly it could very well lead to armed conflict," says Kazuhiko Togo, director of Kyoto Sangyo University's Institute for World Affairs, and author of Japan's Territorial Issues: The Northern Territories, Takeshima and the Senkaku Islands.

Ishihara startled just about everyone this week when he announced plans for Tokyo Prefecture to buy three tiny islands in the Senkaku chain from private owners. He said the aim is to "protect" the islands from Chinese encroachment. Both China and Taiwan claim the islands, which they call the Diaoyou Islands, and officials in China were quick to denounce Ishihara's plans.

"The Diaoyou Islands have been China's inherent territory since ancient times and China holds indisputable sovereignty over them," a Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Japan and China nearly came to blows over the islands in 2010 when a Chinese fishing trawler rammed a Japanese Coast Guard vessel in nearby waters. Japan seized the fishing boat and crew, but released them weeks later after massive street protests in Chinese cities and heavy economic and political pressure from Beijing.

Source: Time



Apr 24 Woman wrongly arrested by Osaka Pref police; 9th wrongful arrest since last July
Police in Neyagawa, Osaka Prefecture, admitted Wednesday that they mistakenly arrested a woman in her 20s over her suspected involvement in a blackmail case which occurred in January of this year. (Japan Today )
Apr 24 Bigger damages ordered over suicide of Japan MSDF crewman
Tokyo High Court ordered the state and a former Maritime Self-Defense Force officer on Wednesday to pay 73 million yen in compensation for the 2004 suicide of a junior crewman of an MSDF destroyer after bullying by the officer. (Jiji Press )
Apr 23 100,000 apply to participate in first public tours of parts of Imperial Palace
The Imperial Household Agency announced this week that it has received over 100,000 applications from individuals seeking to participate in the first ever public opening of parts of the Imperial Palace. (Japan Today )
Apr 23 79-year-old woman stabbed to death in Shizuoka home
Police in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, said Tuesday that a 79-year-old woman was stabbed to death at her home. (Japan Today )
Apr 22 Ex-judge installed camera in women's toilet at Ministry of Justice
A former judge from the Ministry of Justice is alleged to have installed a camera inside a women's toilet inside a ministry building in Kasumigaseki, people with knowledge of the matter announced on Monday, reports Sports Nippon (Apr. 22). (Tokyo Reporter )
Apr 22 Hunters kill bear after it attacks man in Niigata
Hunters shot and killed a bear on Monday after it attacked a man in Murakami, Niigata Prefecture. (Japan Today )
Apr 21 Daughter arrested for killing 83-year-old mother with kettle
Police in Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture, said Monday they have arrested a 55-year-old woman for fatally beating her 83-year-old mother with a kettle at their home. (Japan Today )
Apr 21 Justin Bieber 'in a happy place,' hits Tokyo with mom Pattie Mallette
Justin Bieber flies to Tokyo, Japan, with mom Pattie Mallette, leaving his legal woes, Drake Bell drama and the debate on the deportation petition behind. (inquisitr.com )
Apr 21 Man stabs ex-girlfriend, her parents in their home in Aichi
Police in Fuso, Aichi Prefecture, said Sunday they have arrested an unemployed 38-year-old man for attempted murder after he broke into the home of his ex-girlfriend and stabbed her and her parents. (Japan Today )
Apr 21 Man jumps to death after fatally stabbing father
Police in Tokyo said that a 46-year-old man apparently jumped to his death after fatally stabbing his father at their condominium in Tokyo's Koto Ward on Sunday morning. (Japan Today )