Bloomberg has a very interesting article on how much the Sino-Japanese dispute over the Senkaku Islands is costing both nations. Here's a brief excerpt.
The islands offer the prospect of rich fishing grounds, potential oil reserves and a strategic military outpost in the sea between China, Japan and Taiwan. That’s overshadowed economic ties that Jesper Koll, head of equity research at JPMorgan in Tokyo, called “a match made in heaven.”
“Japan has intellectual property, brands and capital, while China has people, markets and purchasing power,” said Koll, in an interview.
. . .
“As Japan’s politics turn decisively to the right, more and frequent spats between Japan and China are expected,” said Liu Li-Gang, chief economist for Greater China at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. who used to work for the World Bank. “Both economies will lose in the end. Japan will lose a big market, and China will not be able to leverage on Japan’s technology and investment for growth.”
. . .
Underlying the border dispute is a history of strained diplomatic ties between the two countries dating back to the Japanese invasion of China in 1937 and atrocities carried out in the country by some Japanese troops.
With political capital to be gained by both sides from courting nationalist fervor ... lawmakers may manipulate the row to fit their agendas despite the economic costs, said Ding Xueliang, a professor at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, who teaches contemporary Chinese politics.
“Japan is always a convenient target for the Chinese government to use to divert domestic anger,” Ding said. “Compared to the political values, the trade values with Japan are secondary.”
There's more at the link.
The human race really hasn't progressed very far since the Dark Ages, has it? Saber-rattling, militant displays and vociferous threats of retaliation - be that economic, political or even military - should belong to the past. Perhaps we're not so civilized after all . . .