Strange days

Perhaps showing just how serious China is about not mentioning the war and acknowledging Japan’s “consistent pursuit of the path of a peaceful country,” not to mention illustrating just how dire the situation in Szechuan is, the Chinese government has reportedly asked the Japanese government to dispatch planes to China in order to deliver tents, blankets, and other relief supplies.

It apparently doesn’t matter whether those planes are civilian or JSDF.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura, answering questions about the request in his daily press conference, could confirm only that Beijing made the request, that the Fukuda government is considering its response, and that the request appears to be for planes to deliver the supplies to Chinese airports instead of directly to affected areas.

What a dilemma for the Japanese right — a new opportunity for the JSDF to show its quality…by aiding “the grotesque superpower, China.” (The Social Democratic Party of Japan, as if to rub this dilemma in the right’s face, has quickly stated its opposition to using the JSDF to deliver supplies, declaring that “the JSDF is not a disaster relief organization.”)

In short, this request is another blow to those in Japan and the US who see a belligerent, dangerous China that must be contained — and want Washington and Tokyo to take steps that will guarantee a belligerent, dangerous China.

Here’s hoping that the Fukuda government swiftly agrees to provide China with the requested supplies, borne on the wings of JSDF transport planes.

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