Why don't the Kan administration and Foreign Minister Maehara contact China directly instead of clinging to the US government and letting it do everything? Isn't Japan's government just becoming the kind that has to consult the US on everything before it can make a single move? It's losing its ability to independently solve problems.
When US Secretary of State Clinton said that the Senkaku Islands issue probably falls under the purview of Article 5 of the US-Japan security pact, Maehara looked relieved.
Article 5 of the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between Japan and the US says that the US is obliged to provide defense for Japan. Put simply, it's as if the US said, "Don't worry if China does something to you. We'll be there to protect you."
The problem is that once the dispute in the Senkakus arose, the Japanese government did not act in a way that would lead to diplomatic resolution. It just looks like Japan is clinging to the US.
The Japanese government needs to take action so that it can use its own diplomatic strength to resolve this dispute with China.