EastChinaSeaTerritorialDisputeChinavs.Japan_5Japan issued 79,000 group tourist visas to Mainland Chinese last month.  That’s on top of more than 30,000 individual visas.  The total was ten times the number issued in January 2013. Are cashed-up Chinese the answer to the region’s worsening geopolitical tensions?  Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post thinks they just might be.  Yesterday, the paper issued an editorial entitled “Increase in Tourism Can Help Heal Sino-Japan Rift.” That seems like a stretch, but East Asia could use any good news these days.  China is unnerving the region as it tries, among other things, to seize neighboring territory and incorporate surrounding seas.  In late November, Beijing declared its East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone, which infringes on accepted notions of freedom of navigation and seeks to control the airspace of Japan and South Korea.  Moreover, China issued rules, effective the first of this year, purporting to exercise sovereignty over international water in the South China Sea.  And to top that off, Chinese General Liu Yazhou at the beginning of the year publicly urged his country to engage in armed conflict to grab territory from neighbors. More