Sept. 25 Photo Brief: South Koreans in the air, Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands dispute gets wet, nostalgic floppy dreams for nerds
Models get photographed for the next year’s “Nerd Dreams Calendar,” South Korean singer Psy’s fame helps his father’s software firm, South Korean soldiers hold special warfare demonstrations on the eve of Armed Forces Day, the Japanese and Taiwanese Coastguards engage in a water cannon duel near the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands and more in today’s daily brief.
China and Japan provoke a confrontation at sea
Baltimore Sun, Opinion
12:23 p.m. EDT, September 24, 2012
China and Japan are making a mountain of a molehill in their territorial dispute over a group of tiny, uninhabited islands in the East China Sea known as the Senkaku (in Japan) or the Diaoyu (in China). Whatever their name, they’re basically just a bunch of rocks sticking out of the water; the largest is less than two miles square.
Yet they’ve become the flash point for an increasingly shrill confrontation between Asia’s two economic giants that has threatened to disrupt their $340 billion trade relationship and even prompted talk of war. Both sides have dispatched naval vessels to the area. The U.S. needs to immediately use its good offices to nudge both sides back from the brink before things get out of hand.
China and Japan base their respective claims on various historical records going back a century or more. (Taiwan, which broke away from mainland China in 1948, has lodged a separate claim of sovereignty.) Japan points to the 1895 treaty that ended the first Sino-Japanese War as the 19th century drew to a close. China, meanwhile, rests its case on a 16th- century Ming Dynasty document that lists the islands among the emperor’s most prized possessions. Both sides rely on inconclusive and ambivalent evidence of the kind that should be referred to the International Court of Justice at the Hague for adjudication, not decided by gunboat diplomacy.