Japan and China have reached a crisis point in a dispute over sovereignty over some disputed (and rather obscure islands) in the East China Sea. Japan has asserted its ownership of these islands, and the Chinese people have erupted in furious protests. Last night, I watched the BBC-TV program on PBS and saw a report of smashed merchandise at Panasonic and Japanese motor car dealerships. The damage I saw was fairly extensive. The first link reports protests by Chinese people erupted in at least 100 Chinese cities. Since China is a Communist nation ruled tightly by the Communist Party, these “spontaneous” demonstrations could not occur without the consent of the Communist Party in China. [The ransacking of Japanese factories and facilities in China might be a harbinger of what will happen to US factories and facilities in China when China and the USA have a confrontation in the future!]
It is not impossible that a military confrontation might yet occur. The first link includes a report that Chinese military forces may be rehearsing an effort to seize the islands by military force and the second link reports that a Japanese coast guard ship warned off a Chinese vessel near the islands. Now that Japan has acted assertively in staking its claim to the islands, the Japanese government would “lose face” if it did not back up its claim with forcible action if challenged by China. The second link (which appeared in USA Today) included a sidebar article in the USA Today print version that Japan’s claim dates back to at least 1895 and was apparently unchallenged by anyone until the USA took ownership of the islands in World War II. The US Senate gave back the islands to Japan in 1971. On the radio, I heard a report that US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, when asked about this dispute, issued a “wimpy” response that the Obama administration takes no sides in Asian regional disputes. This is a further example of the rapid loss of any superpower assertiveness by the current US government. An administration with some backbone would have firmly stated publicly that the US Senate gave the islands to Japan in 1971 so the islands belong to Japan.
I can see no reason why China has any claim to the islands. Personally, I think the Chinese anger about the matter is a result of simmering rage in China over the brutal treatment of the Chinese people by Japanese soldiers in China in World War II (Google the “Rape of Nanking” if you are unaware of this aspect of history). On the other hand, I think Japan is quite rightly making a statement of its own that China cannot arbitrarily claim everything in the Pacific Rim maritime region for itself. The Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan and even perhaps Malaysia have growing conflicts with China over China’s very expansive claims to sovereignty over the entire South China Sea. Japan is making a statement that China’s aggressive claims to everything will not go unchallenged.
Consider Japan’s position. It is a non-nuclear power asserting its claim against a nuclear power (China). This would be a dangerous gambit unless Japan is actually a closet nuclear power itself. As I have opined in previous posts, I think Japan is already a de facto nuclear power with all the components of its nukes ready to be very quickly assembled and used. As long as Japan does not fully assemble the bomb components, it can technically say it does not have nuclear weapons. Japan has long had nuclear power plants and it has the expertise to easily make nuclear bombs. If I were a Japanese Prime Minister, I would long ago have made a decision to construct the nuclear weapons, but leave them not quite assembled so that while the claim can be made that Japan hasn’t got nukes, it can quickly become a nuclear power when the components are assembled in a future crisis. Threatened as it is by China’s nukes and rising militarism, Japan has every reason to have developed nukes long ago. Given the very weak foreign policy of the Obama administration, Japan has an urgent need to look to its own defense.
All this has a clear biblical connection. The anti-Chinese alliance that is gradually forming between Japan, India, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore and other nations was prophesied in Ezekiel 38 to come into existence in the latter days of our age just before Jesus Christ’s return to rule over all nations as the Messiah and Son of God. To read the specifics of how Ezekiel 38’s prophecy is now being fulfilled in the Pacific Rim region, please read my articles, Japan’s Role in Biblical Prophecy and What Ezekiel 38-39 Reveals about a Future World War III [PDF]. The incredible specificity of the current fulfillments of biblical prophecies for the latter-day period of time prove that there is a Creator God who authored the Bible and that he is bringing his prophecies to pass even as a Director can implement the script of a play. The nations are acting out God’s biblical prophetic “script” whether they realize it or not.