Beijing, Jan 23 (IANS): Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida's remarks that 'Arunachal Pradesh' was an "Indian territory" is Japan's tactic of taking sides over a disputed territory, said China's Global Times newspaper.
The article on Friday, based on an interview with senior researcher Geng Xin, also said that backing India showed that Tokyo's ambition went beyond merely strengthening its relationship with India.
Following a protest lodged by China, Kishida said he made the remarks taking into account the facts that "India basically and effectively controls (the region), and China and India are continuing consultations on the border issue," according to the article.
"Since tensions between Beijing and Tokyo have risen in recent years, especially fuelled by the escalation of the Diaoyu Islands issue, Japan has more than once deliberately stepped into China's territorial disputes with other countries," the article said.
According to the article, this represented Japan's intent of "uniting" the countries that have territorial disputes with China in order to create a strong impression that Japan, along with China's other neighbouring countries, is bullied by a rising China. This way, Japan could put the blame on China instead of itself in the case of a conflict, it added.
The Global Times article pointed out that this was not the first time that Japan had cozied up to India.
According to the article, when Shinzo Abe visited India for the first time as Prime Minister in 2007, he told the Indian Parliament that Tokyo regarded New Delhi as a good friend, and spoke of the high respect in Japan for Indian jurist Radhabinod Pal, who was the only one to cast a dissenting vote against convicting Japanese officials of war crimes during the Tokyo trials.
"Such inappropriate remarks hurt not only the feelings of the Chinese people, but also the interests of Japan's ally, the US," the article said. "But India is not going to fall for Japan's tricks easily. As an emerging power, India has made its political philosophy very clear when it comes to Japan's attitude toward history. Successive governments in India have all clearly expressed that Japan should reflect deeply on its wartime past," the article said.
It added: "New Delhi is well aware that it should seek a wise balance in its relations with China and Japan."
The article pointed out that the existing Sino-Indian bilateral trade volume exceeded $70 billion, almost three times the economic and trade volume between India and Japan.
"Not only that, China's experience of development is a positive lesson for India, and India has also showed its interest to learn from it," the article said, adding: "In this context, wrecking the relationship between China and India would only show that Japan is a country lacking noble manners, and that it will resort to any means in order to achieve its goals."
According to the article, China should not be too concerned about Japan's "improper" actions even though Sino-Japanese relations have hit a historical low at the moment.