NYTimes columnist Nicholas Kristof warns “there is some risk that this [Senkaku-Diaoyu Island issue] will escalate [out] of control and even trigger a war.”
He says China, Japan and the US have mishandled the situation to date, with Japan’s biggest issue being their denial that there is a dispute. Worth a read.
He even proposes a solution: allowing both sides to claim the islands and giving the Chinese ships – not planes – visitation rights. Interestingly he notes the difference of opinion between the Chinese foreign ministry and the PLA.