The Daily Manila Shimbun


“World War III”, fuelled by trade disputes, ”has already started” – UP professor

August 14, 2019

A professor from the University of the Philippines said on Wednesday that "World War III has already started'' due to trade disputes.

Bernard Karganilla, who has done research on the guerrillas, in a forum regarding "Lessons from World War II and its Relevance Today" held in Quezon City, said some countries are engaged in trade wars.

"The trade war has been expanding. First, it was just between US and China. Now, you have (Japanese Prime Minister) Shinzo Abe removed the Koreans from the white list of sensitive export materials and the Koreans responded by boycotting Japanese products. So now, Japan-Korean trade war," he said.

He projected a third trade war between India and Pakistan.

"So when it expands, there will be a currency war. And then at some point, a shooting war. In the sense, World War III has already started," said Karganilla.

As to the territorial dispute in the South China Sea, he said the Philippines should not think it is alone on this and that the sea row with China could lead to war.

"The perspective that the Philippines is alone here is wrong because people might not know, and I cannot emphasize this enough, we belong to a single ASEAN community," he said.

He stressed that ASEAN has declared Southeast Asia as a zone of peace, freedom and neutrality and the whole region is a nuclear-weapons-free zone.

"So if we have conflicts with the Communist Party of China, not the Chinese people...over the seven islands, it's not a conflict between the Communist Party of China and the Philippines. It's actually a conflict between the Communist Party of China and ASEAN because the West Philippine Sea is in Southeast it's not our problem alone. It's a problem by the entire Southeast Asia," he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier said Chinese President Xi Jinping warned him there would be "trouble" if the Philippines would insist on the arbitral ruling and dig oil in the disputed waters.

But Duterte, who is set to visit China later this month, said he would bring up The Hague ruling favoring the Philippines and invalidating China's historic and sovereign claim in the entire South China Sea through its nine-dash line, and the possible joint exploration in the disputed waters.

Meanwhile, in the same forum, Joan Salvador, the international officer of Gabriela, insisted one of the remaining issues unsettled since World War II was the issue on the so-called "comfort women."

She said one of the demands of the former sexual slaves by the then Japanese Imperial Army is for Japan to open its wartime record "so that we can see what extent they did to the people, not just to the Philippines, but to other countries in Asia, including other war crimes that they might have committed."

Karganilla, on the other hand, said he wants to see in Japanese textbooks, "explicitly that Yamashita was correctly convicted and executed for war crime."

Tomoyuki Yamashita was a Japanese general of the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II. He was sentenced to death due to war crimes and executed by hanging in Los Banos, Laguna in 1946. Celerina Monte/DMS