Japan's Abe: China Schools Teach Anti-Japan Sentiment
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is accusing China of using its state-run school system to encourage anti-Japan sentiment, thereby worsening the two countries' territorial disputes.
On the eve of his visit to Washington, Prime Minister Abe said, in an interview with the Washington Post, that China has a "deeply ingrained" need for conflict with Japan and its other neighbors. He says Beijing uses the disputes to maintain strong domestic support. Because of this, he says it is not likely the differences will be resolved anytime soon.
During his meeting Friday with President Barack Obama, Mr. Abe is expected to seek expanded defense cooperation with Washington to help counter perceived threats from China's territorial claims.
Japan-China ties have sunk to their lowest level in years because of a worsening dispute about a group of remote East China Sea islands that lie near strategic fishing grounds and potential oil deposits. Both countries claim the islands.
Japan purchased some of the uninhabited islands from their private Japanese landowner late last year, prompting official condemnation from Beijing and days of violent anti-Japan protests throughout China.
Amid Tensions, US, S.Korea to Hold Annual Military Drills
The United States and South Korea have announced plans for large-scale joint military exercises next month, just weeks after North Korea's latest nuclear test raised regional tensions.
A statement issued by the Combined Forces Command on Thursday says the annual war drills will begin on March 1st with a month-long series of air, ground and naval exercises known as Foal Eagle. Separately, it announced a two-week, computer-based simulation called Key Resolve, which will begin on March 11th.
The allies' statement says the exercises are designed to enhance the security and readiness of South Korea and insists they are deterrent in nature. The North sees the drills as preparation to invade its territory.
Pyongyang has recently taken steps to demonstrate its own military power. It conducted its third and most powerful nuclear test yet on February 12th. In December, it successfully launched a satellite into space, in a move critics say was a disguised ballistic missile test.