China last week proposed restarting the Six Party Talks on North Korea, but at least one of the parties, Japan, is not interested. The talks, which include South Korea, China, the United States, Japan, and Russia, began in 2003 and were last held in 2007. The principal gain from the talks seems to have been the closure of the Yongbyon nuclear power plant. North Korea announced in April 2009 it would never again participate in the talks.
Following last week’s deadly artillery strike on a South Korean island by the North, Beijing on Sunday proposed the six nations –the two Koreas, China, the U.S., Russia and Japan – resume the long-suspended series of talks, originally designed to persuade North Korea to disarm.
“It’s unacceptable for us to hold six-party talks only because North Korea has gone amok,” the minister said. “We must first see some kind of sincere effort from North Korea on its uranium enrichment program and the latest incident.” (Link)
One can’t help but wonder if Japan would be more eager to work with China — or at least not shoot it down so publicly — if China hadn’t been so pushy lately. Hopefully the decision makers in the PRC are wondering the same thing. China no longer has any positive influence with Japan, and there’s no longer incentive for Japan to make China look good.
A contributor and editor at the blog War Is Boring, Kyle Mizokami started Japan Security Watch in 2010 to further understand Japan's defenses and security policy.
Kyle Mizokami has 536 post(s) on Japan Security Watch