China-Japan tensions cast shadow over regional security

As the third World Peace Forum enters its second day, discussions have turned to the escalating tensions in the Asia Pacific region, especially those between China and Japan. Experts are looking at ways to prevent the disputes from clouding regional security.

Another close fly-by.

Two Chinese jet fighters and two Japanese planes came as close as 100 feet to each other earlier this month in a close encounter over a disputed area in the East China Sea.

Another incident occurred earlier, on May 24th, while China and Russia were conducting a naval drill in the East China Sea.

But they are only the latest incidents in China and Japan’s cycle of disputes that began in 2012 when Japan announced its purchase of the Diaoyu Island.

"China-Japan relations have a tremendous impact on security in the Asia-Pacific region. Asia would enter a brand new era in the 21st century if China and Japan could cooperate. So, solving the tensions between the two countries and other turbulences in the region is crucially important to realizing that goal. None of the countries can do it on their own." Nishihara Haruo, president of Center For Contribution To Peace In Asia, said.

As experts discuss Asian regional security at the 3rd World Peace Forum, focus has turned to finding a way out of this tense situation.

"It’s unfortunate that both misunderstanding and understanding coexist in bilateral ties. It takes time to ease the tension between the two, but at least for now, we can start by solving misunderstandings between ordinary citizens from both sides, especially improving the communication among our young people." Haruo said.

Nishihara added that strong economic ties between China and Japan could also help mediate the dispute.

For example Japan’s economic recovery needs the Chinese market, and there is a lot that China can learn from Japan about dealing with debt.

While an all out war is unlikely between China and Japan, no changes in the current situation could mean that there’ll be more conflicts like the air collision. So, experts are asking for a crisis management procedure for both sides to avoid such situations.

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