To the world at large, there will be little to choose between the nationalist hotheads of the Japanese Youth Federation who established the lighthouse on the Diaoyu Islands, and the nationalist hotheads from Hong Kong and Taiwan who want to dismantle it. Chinese people, whether in Hong Kong, Taiwan or on the mainland have no reason to love the Japanese. Neither has the rest of Asia. Memories of Japanese cruelty and atrocities die hard, even among those too young to have experienced for themselves the beastly reality of occupation and colonisation. But the way to settle territorial disputes is through negotiation, not by grandiloquent gestures. Both China and Japan have laid claim to the Diaoyu waters under the UN Law of the Sea. The Chinese Government's decision to prevent protests has prevented a build-up of hysteria on the mainland which could force it to send in the gunboats. Similarly, Japan's cool diplomatic response has helped keep public support for right-wing nationalists to a minimum. There is no doubt the Japanese Government has failed to rein in its extremists. By refusing to condemn their actions and leaving open the possibility of approving the lighthouse it is offering them comfort and support. Japan is also adept at exploiting Chinese embarrassment that the islands are also claimed by Taiwan. But the time has come for cooler, more rational tactics. Activists, whether from the Democrats, pro-China or pro-Taiwan groups, should listen to colleagues counselling them to think through their goals before taking to the streets or the high seas. These islands, charged as they are with emotional and historical significance, important though they may be to either side's claim to seabed resources, do not justify a crusading frenzy. It is from small provocations that major conflicts arise. No one, least of all Hong Kong and Taiwan, would benefit from increased tension between the two great powers of Asia.