I hope to see Japanese military planes over China

No, I am not some militarist condoning a preemptive attack on China. I am supporting “China’s request for Japanese soldiers to deliver earthquake relief aid”:http://www.newsvine.com/_news/2008/05/28/1516667-china-asks-japan-for-help-with-earthquake-relief in Sichuan. The Japanese government is still deliberating as this would be the first deployment of Japanese military forces to the Chinese mainland since the second world war.

“Jun Okumura thinks it is a nice idea”:http://son-of-gadfly-on-the-wall.blogspot.com/2008/05/japanese-self-defense-force-aircraft-in.html, but worries about being taken in by a Chinese bully. “Tobias Harris also supports the plan”:http://www.observingjapan.com/2008/05/strange-days.html and points out how it perplexes both the political Right and Left in Japan. My favourite quote is from the Social Democratic Party of Japan who are “against the plan”:http://www.asahi.com/politics/update/0528/TKY200805280255.html?ref=rss claiming that “the JSDF are not a disaster relief organization (saigai kyuujo dantai).”

The DPJ SDP obviously aren’t reading our “Kaplan”:http://cominganarchy.com/2007/07/20/hog-pilots-blue-water-grunts/. Disaster relief is an important and positive role for military forces the world over. It has always been so for domestic emergencies. The JSDF gained immense domestic respect from its relief role in the Kobe and Niigata earthquakes. Taking these efforts abroad is a logical step in contributing to global security in the 21st century. This is a natural progression borne out of Japan’s first foreign deployments in the 1990s, and it could go a long way in mending relations between the two Asian powers.

About Younghusband

Sir Francis Edward Younghusband (1863-1942) was a British explorer, army officer, military-political officer, and foreign correspondent born in India who led expeditions into Manchuria, Kashgar, and Tibet. He three times tried and failed to scale Mt. Everest and journeyed from China to India, crossing the Gobi desert and the Mustagh Pass (alt. c.19,000 ft/5,791 m) of the Karakoram mountain range in modern day Pakistan. Convinced of Russian designs on British interests in India, Younghusband proactively engaged in the nineteenth century spying and conflict over Central Asia between the British and the Russians known as the Great Game. "Younghusband" is a Canadian who has spent a number of years bouncing back and forth between his home country and Japan. Fluent in Japanese and English with experience in numerous other languages from Spanish to Georgian, Younghusband has travelled throughout Asia. He graduated with an MA from the War Studies Department at the Royal Military College of Canada, where he focussed on the Japanese oil industry and energy security issues. He has recently returned to Canada from Japan, and is working in the technology sector.
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15 Responses to I hope to see Japanese military planes over China

  1. Tobias says:

    Not the DPJ — the Socialists.

    To my knowledge the DPJ hasn’t announced its position yet, although I expect that we’ll know by day’s end. Kan Naoto is scheduled to hold a press conference this afternoon, at which someone is bound to ask a question about it. My guess is that the DPJ will support it.

  2. Younghusband says:

    Duly corrected. Thanks Tobias.

  3. LB says:

    Ah, the SDP – hopelessly behind the times again. Fukushima Mizuho was fearlessly ranting on the news about how this should never be allowed to happen, how it meant the remilitarizing of Japan, etc. ad nauseum. One of the reporters interrupted with “but China has asked for the SDF to help”, and you could see her brain fry. She lamely tried to recover with a “yes but that doesn’t matter because…”

    What doesn’t matter is the SDP. They should have been disbanded years ago (preferably with their former Dear Leader thrown into prison).

  4. Shazzb0t says:

    I agree with your analysis of the situation. This could be a great turning point for Chinese-Japanese relations as well as for the legitmacy and future of the JSDF missions.

  5. ElamBend says:

    I hope they allow it, to receive such a request and the gesture it represents and then to turn it down would be a tremendous insult.

    Of course, American nationalist that I am…how come they didn’t as us, the jerks ;)

  6. Mark says:

    No, disaster relief is overrated. The US has been doing it for decades, and they still hate us. All it does is waste working people’s tax money.

  7. Aceface says:

    And the plan is officially dead.
    Looks like Beijing is more worried about internet trolls than those who suffer under the collapsed building.

    BTW,on this week’s issue of lefty-Asahi shimbun’s weekly magazine,AERA,the former staff writer and military analyst,Taoka Shunji was mentioning the idea about sending choppers and Osumi class LST all the way up the Yangze to Chingqing.

  8. Pingback: Anti-Japanese netizens delay Japanese aid to Chinese earthquake victims | Japan Probe

  9. Pingback: tdaxp » Blog Archive » China Requests Japanese Military Insistance: Backwardness on both sides nixes the deal

  10. tingbudong says:

    I too agree that such a move could be a turning point for Japanese-Chinese relations, although this turning point would probably only manifest itself at the top levels of government.

    The power of the Red Guard 2.0 should not be under-estimated and resentment of Japan (especially anything military-related) still runs deep among the general population…not to mention the PLA, who would most likely be responsible for any liaison with Japanese aid forces.

  11. lirelou says:

    The Americans opened their door to China with ping-pong diplomacy at a time when U.S. backed and advised Vietnamese forces were battling Chinese backed and advised Vietnamese forces. That it worked was likely due to the fact that both sides recognized that it was in their interest. For Japan, a military relief deployment might well be the key to less contentious relations with China. It is worth the try,a and the opportunity should not be squandered.

  12. Rommel says:

    Granted 1970′s history is not my forte, but wasn’t the ping-pong diplomacy with China possible because of the developing Sino-Soviet split? Certainly the Vietnamese Communists still accepted some Chinese help but by the 70′s North Vietnam was primarily under the Soviet sphere of influence (that is, Soviet advisors and hardware eclipsed the contributions of Red China.)
    That digression aside, if China and Japan allow this opportunity to pass then it is a damned shame.

  13. Rommel says:

    As an aside, does anybody else find the Wikipedia article on the Vietnam War to be slightly amusing? Specifically, the section on China’s involvement in the war… (and yes I am ashamed to have used it for reference)

    “China also successfully captured many Vietnamese provinces, mountains, and cities. After the succesful operation and incursion, Chinese forces gave peace and returned the land to Vietnam. Ever since the war, Chinese and Vietnamese relationships greatly improved.”

    I don’t know if I’ve ever seen the Third Indochina War described in that manner. Something about the wording and tone makes me suspicious of the author’s origins…
    Well, thats Wikipedia for ya.

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  15. lirelou says:

    Rommel, that was indeed good for a laugh. Thanx…