Because senior Party leaders are failing to maintain unity at home, it’s likely they will continue to press Tokyo over their claims to the Senkakus. In recent weeks, Beijing has upped the stakes by sending patrol vessels and threatening to flood the disputed area with “more than 1,000” craft.
Unfortunately, Beijing in recent years has lost its ability to compromise its territorial claims, some of which are outlandish. Beijing has laid down a marker for itself and cannot yield an inch. This makes each claim a flashpoint.
And Tokyo is beginning to realize there is no appeasing Chinese leaders. On the 14th, the official China Daily, by making a reference to Kume in the Ryukyus, laid the historical groundwork for raising a claim on that Japanese island chain, which is near the Senkakus. Said Hissho Yanai, a Japanese activist, to the New York Times, “If we let them have the Senkaku Islands, they’ll come after all of Okinawa next.”
In fact, Beijing officials have talked about taking the Ryukyus after they get the Senkakus.