Symposium about relationship between Okinawa, China and Japan held at Okinawa University
June 30, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo
Tokyo based think tank the New Diplomacy Initiative and Okinawa University Regional Research Institute held a symposium on the theme of the relationship between Okinawa, China and Japan at Okinawa University in Naha on June 29.
Nanjing University professor Liu Cheng, a specialist in irenology, the study of peace, delivered the keynote speech. He referred to Okinawa, which has a long historical relationship with China and the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands. Cheng said, “I would like Okinawa to serve as a bridge between Japan and China. I do not want a war to start in the prefecture.”
He claimed diplomatic policies with a hostile view of other countries and regions, are out of date in global society. Cheng stressed that it is important for Japan and China to promote collaboration and dialogue.
He outlined the Chinese government’s claim that the Diaoyu Islands are inherently territories of China.
Cheng was born and raised in Nanjing. This is the first time that he has visited Okinawa. He highlighted similarities between Okinawa, where many civilians were killed in the Battle of Okinawa, and Nanjin where the Nanjing Massacre occurred during the Sino-Japanese War. Cheng claimed, “We need to avoid wars that take many people’s lives.”
Referring to China’s rapid economic growth, he said, “China seeks a peaceful environment to keep economically growing.”
Director of the think tank, Sayo Saruta reported on Nago Mayor Susume Inamine’s visit to the United States. Saruta arranged the meeting between US government officials and Inamine, who visited the United States to convey his opposition to Henoko relocation .
Moriteru Arasaki, professor emeritus at Okinawa University, Masaaki Gabe, a professor at the University of the Ryukyus and Yasushi Ikeo, adjunct instructor at Ritsumeikan University took part as panelists.
(English translation by T&CT)
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