I was really excited when I read this on Coming Anarchy: the People’s Republic of China requested the Japanese Self-Defense Forces deliver aid to survivors of the Sichuan Earthquake. This would be the first military deployment by Japan in China since 1945:
ComingAnarchy.com Â» Blog Archive Â» I hope to see Japanese military planes over China
No, I am not some militarist condoning a preemptive attack on China. I am supporting Chinaâ€™s request for Japanese soldiers to deliver earthquake relief aid 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, but worries about being taken in by a Chinese bully. Tobias Harris also supports the plan 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 claiming that â€œthe JSDF are not a disaster relief organization (saigai kyuujo dantai).â€
Unfortunately, elements in both sides would rather waste time than move forward. As noted in the CA article, some in Japan don’t want to JSDF deployed in that way. But what sounds a lot like concern over the same ultra-nationalist bloggers who threaten the safety of students in America led China to backtrack.
Too bad. I wonder how many kidneys / arms / legs / lives could have been saved if not for the dithering.
The one good thing out of this is that the second request for something is typically less shocking than the first.
I hope we don’t have to wait for another 70K dead to get there.