NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- So far the only concrete good to come from China's expansion of its sovereign air space is a tweeted photo of Vice President Joe Biden's plane, Air Force Two, flying past Mount Fuji.
And nothing much more substantial is really expected. A quick scan of the issue suggests that the current sharp disagreement with Japan over air space and territory is built from decades of unresolved doubts on both sides and is likely to linger for even longer.
At issue are islands in the East China Sea, called Senkaku by the Japanese and Daioyu by the Chinese. China's newly defined air space extends over those islands and overlaps space claimed by Japan. China's move isn't an isolated incident given that the world's second-largest economy has in recent years been beefing-up its military and expanding its armed presence throughout Asia.
Both sides claim the islands are their indisputable territory. That alone is telling since China and Japan have been in dispute over this indisputable territory at least since the 1970s when China began to contest Japan's claim to the islands. According to Japan, the islands were annexed in 1895 and reaffirmed by international treaty following World War II. According to China's state-run news agency, Xinhua, the tensions escalated in September 2012 when Tokyo nationalized the Diaoyu islands, illegally in China's eyes, by purchasing them from a private owner.