I would only quibble with her characterization in the revised article of the Taiwaness attitude toward Japanese territories. Despite one of the activists making it to shore carrying a Republic of China flag, the Taiwanese attitude seems to be "Leave us out of this!" Not only did Taiwan authorities not allow the Hong Kong ship make port at Taichung to take on fresh water but it convinced Taiwan activists preparing to join the crew of the Hong Kong vessel that it was really in their best interests to stay home.
Furthermore, in a little noticed near incident on July 26, a Taiwanese squadron of three naval vessels sailed close to the 12 nautical mile limit surrounding the island of Yonaguni. In respone to sailing so close to Japanese territorial waters, the Taiwanese Navy went bonkers, relieving the commanding officer of his command and affixeing a demerit to his service record. Since then the committee in charge of the defending the rights of naval personnel has seen to it that the demerit will be revoked. (E)
The Taiwanese Navy's immediate and near hysterical response to even appearing to desire to violate Japan's territorial waters seems to demonstrate that government of Taiwan has a sent word on down that the basic rule is restrict territorial grandstanding to talk, not action.
Over at Global Talk 21, Okumura Jun has been dashing out a series of invaluable posts on the Senkakus landing incident. Okumura-san hammers away at the takeaway from the landing: that by carrying out maneuvers that resulted in significant damage to Japan Coast Guard vessels, but making no attempts to board the vessel -- even after the activists tossed cement blocks at the JCG ships -- and by having the arrests carried out on land as gently as possible by local -- i.e. Okinawa Prefecture -- police specially transported to the Senkakus for the occasion, Japanese claims of sovereignty of the islands have been enhanced. This was absolutely the worst possible outcome for the People's Republic of China, no matter how much it has thrilled some in Hong Kong. (E)
One ongoing domestic dispute perplexes Okumura, however:
"...there seems to be significant criticism in Japan over the fact that the authorities let the Hong Kong activists land on the Islands. I don’t understand this; are the critics suggesting that the authorities should have exercised deadly force if need be rather than let the activists land, then arrest them for illegal entry? After all, they were posing no known physical threat to any persons or assets under Japanese jurisdiction. If this had been a helicopter and not a boat, would these critics have insisted that the Coast Guard shoot it down?"
Yes, that is exactly what they are saying. You know, the old "If it was good enough for the Soviet Union (E) it is good enough for us" line of reasoning.
I am stunned. Members of the opposition, playing politics with the government's conduct of Japan's security policy, in direct contradiction to positions they have previously taken.
Where oh where could they have ever learned that little trick?
This is not to say that Ozawa Ichiro would be acting as the LDP is in this instance. Indeed, he would not. However, the LDP, with its "Learn nothing; forget nothing" ethos, is only doing what it thinks an opposition party should do: play "tit-for-tat" -- do unto others as they have done unto you -- no matter that that what they are advocating is intensely and unpatriotically stupid.
Now such stupendous nitwittery has its uses, of course. It certainly makes it easier for the Noda government to lay it on the line with with the Chinese, telling them:
"Look, keep a lid on this, OK? Do not let your self-appointed, presumably sexually frustrated middle-aged male hyper-patriots make us look bad. Because if the DPJ gets wiped out in the next election as a result of its supposed weak stance on national security, you will be dealing with this cabal of nitwits."