A Viragem Nacionalista do Japão

TÓQUIO – O Japão tem estado ultimamente nas notícias, devido à sua disputa com a China sobre seis quilómetros quadrados de ilhotas áridas no Mar da China Oriental a que o Japão chama Senkakus e a China chama Ilhas Diaoyu. As pretensões rivais datam do final do século dezanove, mas o recente deflagrar, que levou a generalizadas manifestações anti-Japonesas na China, começou em Setembro, quando o governo do Japão adquiriu três das pequenas ilhotas ao seu proprietário privado japonês.

O Primeiro-Ministro Yoshihiko Noda afirmou que decidira comprar as ilhas para o governo central Japonês no sentido de prevenir que o Governador de Tóquio Shintaro Ishihara as comprasse com fundos municipais. Ishihara, que desde então abandonou o cargo para lançar um novo partido político, é bem conhecido pelas provocações nacionalistas, e Noda temia que ele tentasse ocupar as ilhas ou encontrar outros modos de usá-las que provocassem a China e recolhessem apoio popular no Japão. Altos funcionários Chineses, no entanto, não aceitaram a explicação de Noda, e interpretaram a compra como prova de que o Japão está a tentar perturbar o status quo.

Em Maio de 1972, quando os Estados Unidos devolveram a Prefeitura de Okinawa ao Japão, a transferência incluía as Ilhas Senkaku, que os EUA administravam a partir de Okinawa. Alguns meses depois, quando a China e o Japão normalizaram as suas relações após a II Guerra Mundial, o Primeiro-Ministro Japonês Kakuei Tanaka inquiriu o Primeiro-Ministro Chinês Zhou Enlai sobre as Senkakus, e foi-lhe dito que em vez de deixar que a disputa atrasasse a normalização, a questão deveria ser deixada para as gerações futuras.

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