Japan militarizing South China Sea dispute: Journalist

BINTANGNEWS.com – Press TV has conducted and interview with Michael Penn, a journalist and political commentator from Chicago, about the dispute over the South China Sea. 
The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Alliances continue to be made and strengthened against the growing might of China. What do you make of this particular overture by Japan and the Philippines?
Penn: Well, yes actually Prime Minister Abe’s action in this case is pretty strong. The new Filipino president is under a lot of criticism for things that are going on in his own country. There was just a broken meeting between him and President Obama.
But at the same time, Prime Minister Abe is very much embracing the new president and going through with offering him these two big petrol ships, which is really unprecedented. The size and strength of the strength of the ships is basically military grade, and Japan has never given ships of this kind to any other country before. This is something new.
Press TV: Well, speaking of that it’s showing militarization, so to speak, of this opposition towards China now, isn’t it?
Penn: Yes, it very much is, I mean, that process has been going on for some time, but Prime Minister Abe clearly is not shrinking from and he actually seems enthusiastic about militarizing the conflict as much as he can, because this is within the Japanese domestic context. Abe has been one of the leading advocates of Japan becoming more muscular and more militarized in its foreign policy.
Press TV: And does it have its support on the ground there in Japan?
Penn: Of course, it’s hard to put a percentage on it, but let’s say 30 or 40 percent of the public does believe that Japan needs to strengthen its military forces looking to the future. That’s not a majority opinion, but there is concern about the future growth of China and what it might do. So, there is a constituency for what Mr. Abe is doing not a majority but a substantial part of the public.***
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Editing: T. Bintang

source: Presstv

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