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China – Japan Dispute Over Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands Explained

With American embassies all over the Middle East and North Africa under attack, the Western media has for the most part ignored a potentially greater geopolitical flashpoint. Though an outright conventional (or nuclear) war between China and Japan is very unlikely, their fight over some tiny islands will certainly escalate.

The Senkaku Islands (as the Japanese call them; the Chinese call them the Diaoyu Islands) are a group of five small uninhabited islands and three rocks in the East China Sea between China and Japan. The area surrounding the islands may have oil and commercial fishing fleets also ply the waters there. Fundamentally, the dispute is not about oil or fish.  It’s really about power, history, and not losing face. Continue reading