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Colonel Ruo Ruan: Three Reasons for Japan’s Involvement in South Sea Issues

In an interview with People’s Daily, Colonel Luo Ruan, deputy secretary of the China Association for Military Sciences, commented on Japan’s recent statement that Japan is increasing its cooperation with the Philippines and other South East Asian countries on South Sea issues. Luo said that the following three factors enter into Japan’s involvement in the South Sea: 1). Economic interests. The rich oil in the South Sea can boost Japan’s energy resources, which is what Japan dreams about. 2). Strategic geographic interests. The South Sea is an important strategic location connecting the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Japan is heavily dependent on the South Sea for the transportation of both its imports and exports. Japan believes that if China controls the South Sea route, Japan’s economic development will be under China’s control. 3). Strategic security interests. Japan hopes to utilize the South Sea conflict to reduce the pressure it faces in the East Sea and the Senkaku islands.

Luo said that for Japan, as a Northeast Asian country, to actively get into the South Sea conflict is an act of reckless expansion. It violates Japan’s Peace Constitution, and also violates the international laws that restrict its expansion.

Source: People’s Daily, October 13, 2011