Sunday Selections

China And Japan Relations Reach Lowest Point In A Decade
“On Aug. 6, the same day Hiroshima held a peace memorial to mark the 68th anniversary of atomic bombing, Japan unveiled at a port near Tokyo the largest warship of its Maritime Self-Defense Force,” the editorial in Xinhua states. Furthermore, the paper contends the launch of “a de facto aircraft carrier is in flagrant violation of Japan’s pacifist constitution, and another alarming sign as the Japanese government is mulling to ditch peace commitment and bolster the country’s military forces.”

The editorial is ironic given China’s recent provocations in Japanese territorial waters near the Senkaku islands, which are at the center of a dispute between the two nations. The ships remained in the waters near islands disputed with Japan for a record 28 hours, which is the longest time since Japan bought the islands last year, reports Bloomberg News.

The maneuvers marked the latest incursion by Chinese government ships in recent months and reflect the continuing erosion of relations between China and Japan. In fact, a recent survey found the Japanese and Chinese people hold the least favorable views of each others in almost a decade.

A poll conducted by the state-run China Daily and the Japanese think tank Genron NPO found a total of 92.8 percent of Japanese people have a bad or relatively bad impression of China, while 90.1 percent of Chinese have similar feelings towards Japan.

In a side note, CNN reports that the People’s Liberation Army has developed an online game in which players can inhabit the role of China’s military to take on Japanese forces. The game originated as a training tool for China’s military and the opponent was the US.


New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman discusses how he stumbled upon a parallel “between how fossil fuels are being used to power monoculture farms in [America’s] Middle West and how fossil fuels are being used to power wars to create monoculture societies in the Middle East.” The drive in the US and the Middle East away from pluralism and diversity toward monocultures are similar in some respects, he says, and both could lead to environmental disaster.

Voters in Mali went to the polls on Sunday with early results indicating that former Malian Prime Minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita will emerge victorious in the presidential run-off. According to early reports, Keita is leading in the July 28 first-round ballot and will face former Finance Minister Soumaila Cisse, 63, who got about 20 percent.

Foreign Policy magazine looks at the strategy al-Qaeda has employed to “win” the Arab Spring.

Time magazine’s Courtney Subramanian argues that climate change is both an environmental and a public health concern.



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