28 September 2010


I'm teaching a news reading class where we talk about current events. One of the big news items lately is this dispute between China and Japan over this island that both claim as their territory. The island is called "Diaoyu" in Chinese and "Senkaku" in Japanese. This dispute has been going on since WW2 but without too much concern since the island was not seen as so valuable but since then, they have found that the island is rich in natural resources and tensions are starting to heighten.

Well recently, a Chinese fisherman and his crew got in a boat accident after colliding with two Japanese coastguard boats in the East China Sea near the island and the Japanese detained the crew. China was furious and demanded they be released. Japanese caved a bit and returned all the crew except the captain and held the captain for several weeks. China believed they had no right to put this captain in jail since China believes they have claim to the island. Well, Japan eventually returned the captain and China demanded an apology. Japan refused to give any apologies because they believed there was no case for one since Japan believes the island is their own. Now, relations are strained and China is pulling out business deals and high level contracts to punish Japan. Japan is pissed.

LOL. I'm sure you can get a better summary of what's going on by reading the news.
Anyway, Ramsey was talking about this issue in his class too and asked what the students thought about what should happen. All the girls shouted out "War" and the only boy said, "Can we resolve this through peaceful, diplomatic means?" "No!!!" said all the girls. "War!!!" Jim Pan, the only one wanting the peaceful approach spent a bit of time trying to convince the rest of the class. I'm not sure they were convinced.

Weird, huh!


  1. What's up with all the blood-thirsty girls? Maybe they're so keen on war because they won't have to fight it?

    I've heard about the island dispute on NPR. I don't think this will escalate into a war -- mostly because China and Japan have so many common financial interests. But relations will no doubt be strained for a while, with each country getting their jabs in. We'll have to see what happens.

  2. Wow, that's scary! I can't imagine that someone could really believe that war is a good idea!Especially for something so trivial

  3. Sophie doesn't know Chinese!