11/01/2019 No. 147
 
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Hidden Agenda Over Diaoyu Islands
By Peter C. Chieh
February 1, 2013


We had a toddler and a baby when I finished graduate studies and our lifestyle remained unchanged when we came to Waterloo in 1969. Students in the University of Waterloo took us as some of them. Soon, we learned that the United States of America would hand over the Diaoyu Islands to Japanese administration. Chinese students and scholars in the U.S. voiced their objection, and the Diaoyu Island Movement started. We also published booklets, held discussion sessions, and propagated news of the movement. Waterloo, a college town in Canada, is a small place. Our voice might not make much difference, but we added our voices anyway.

 

We banded together for the benefit of Chinese as a people. More than forty years later, we are still friends; a reward we all treasure.

 

Our local paper The Record published an editorial written by Bruce Ackerman (Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale), and Tokujin Marsudaira (Assistant Professor of Law at Tokyo University) entitled “Is Japan on the Path to Rearming?”(1). Shiao-yu, my wife, showed me the article and I wrote a letter to the Editor. I pointed out the information to Dr. S.W. Wang and she invited me to write an article.

 

Science and technology extend our longevity, but social memory seems getting shorter. The book, The Myth of the Good War by J.R. Pauwels (2), reminds us to take another look at events of WWII, during which soldiers died, prisoners of war suffered, and Chinese were massacred. Even Japanese civilians were enslaved by their own military government.

 

Great friendship developed between Chinese and Americans, especially in the China-Burma-India war theatre. I was grateful to the Americans who helped Chinese to defeat Japan. However, following the unconditional surrender of Japan, the U.S. seemed have treated the Japanese very well. General D. MacArthur kept the Japanese Imperial system intact, and the war-making policy makers are still in power to date. The Japanese economy dominated the world while most victorious countries in Asia remained in developing-country status.

 

Obama recently shifted the U.S. military attention to the Pacific and Hilary Clinton’s attitude during her Pacific-Rim tours has probably rekindled the militarism of Japanese politicians. Fearing a repeat of another Sino-Japanese war the Chinese soldiers rattle their sabre. A war, in which Japanese and Chinese kill each other, will create business opportunities for many big American corporations. That will also help the American government to get over its financial problems. They had tasted the sweetness in WWII. Politicians and corporate leaders, real policy makers, care too much about corporation profits and political powers.

 

Our efforts more than 40 years ago did not fail. We have kept the issue alive, and we see at least that China now takes a stronger stand to claim the sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands.

 

In my letter to the editor of The Record, I had these words. North American citizens should be vigilant before things get out of hand. WWII led to no peace. The hostilities between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., two allies against the Axis powers, led to the Cold War. Their influence divided China, Korea, Vietnam, and Germany. American policies have armed Japan to counterbalance communism. Rearming Japan escalates conflicts. The Japanese tsunami debris reached the West Coast of North America, so will conflicts.

 

It seems to me that the U.S. politicians handed the Diaoyu Islands to Japan with a hidden agenda, i.e. to plant seeds of conflict. My friend, a retired rear admiral in Taiwan, pointed out to me that the Diaoyu Islands are very important from a military point of view. Chinese ships must pass by the waters nearby to access the Pacific Ocean.

 

The American policy makers may want to sell weapons to Japan. But Japan can use American-made weapons to bomb the U.S. Territories or sphere of influence. In the past decades, many regimes supported by the U.S. turned around and fought against the U.S. Fighting is bad from our point of view, but it is good for business.

 

Policy makers, politicians and corporate power elites have their hidden agenda. Shouldn’t all citizens, including the Japanese, be aware of a hidden agenda? Shinzo Abe should also be aware. Saddam Hussein was once supported by the U.S. So was Hitler, Pauwels’ book points out.

 

Hostile attitudes make enemies. Misunderstanding usually results in war. We citizens have to be vigilant to politicians, who speak on behalf of corporate leaders. We have to analyze their rhetoric carefully to see if they were sugar-coating a hidden agenda.

 

 

References:

(1)

Is Japan on the path to rearming?

By Bruce Ackerman, Professor of law and Political Science at Yale and Tokujin Marsudaira, Assistant Professor of Law at Tokyo University

http://www.therecord.com/opinion/columns/article/869472--is-japan-on-the-path-to-rearming

See also

Japan: On Path to Rearming? By F. Michael Maloof,

F. Michael Maloof, staff writer for WND and G2Bulletin, is a former senior security policy analyst in the office of the secretary of defense.

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2012/12/japan-on-path-to-rearming/#G7gqawtuLk0yIhes.99

(2)

Jacques R. Pauwels (2002, 2009); The Myth of the Good War; James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Toronto

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Peter Chung Chieh is Professor Emeritus, University of Waterloo and founding president for Central Ontario Chinese Cultural Centre. He was born in Guangdong, China. He went to Taiwan as a child soldier, and was adopted by the late General Sun Li-jen, who gave him a chance to attend school. Following his chemistry degree from Taida (National Taiwan University), he studied nuclear science in the graduate school of National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan. He then studied in the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and went to University of Waterloo as a post-doctoral fellow. A year later, he became assistant professor and went through all professorial ranks during his 34 years of teaching and research. He retired in 2004.
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