Since 1972 and culminating in 1978, Japan and China sought to normalize relations and start working together; however, China’s words of “friendliness” and “respect” appear to only be sewage frothing from the drainpipe.
In the most recent events, China has seized a Japanese company’s cargo ship over what it claims are “wartime debts” specifically talking about the leasing of two steam ships from 1936 that were later “lost”. Japan claims, and rightfully so, that all wartime debts were absolved in 1972 (1978) when diplomatic relations were re-established and the treaty was signed.
So, out of my own curiosity, I decided to take a look at the treaty… and what I found was that China has violated Article I, Article II, and Article III. Article IV discussed third-party relations and Article V discusses terminating the treaty.
Article I, paragraph two, states, “[T]hey will use peaceful means to settle all disputes and will refrain from the use of force or the threats of the use thereof”
- China’s display of force in the Japan-owned Senkaku islands seems to suggest China forgot about Article I.
Article II states, “[N]either [Japan or China] will seek hegemony within the Asian and Pacific region or in any other region and that both shall oppose any attempt by any other country or group of countries to establish such hegemony”
- China claiming all of the South China Sea and blocking the Philippines from supplying its troops seems to suggest China also forgot about Article II.
Article III states, “[M]otivated by the spirit of good neighborliness and friendship and in accordance with the principles of mutual benefit and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, shall foster contacts and endeavors involving the peoples of the two countries with a view to furthering economic and cultural relations between the two countries”
- China’s constant involvement with the Yasukuni Shrine and support of the recent seizure of the 226k-ton Baosteel Emotion cargo vessel seems to suggest China forgot about Article III as well.
If China is willing to break a treaty with one of its closest neighbors, causing huge ripples in international relations between the two countries, what might they do next?
Read the article here
Read the Treaty here
Picture from here