I believe China will respond, but it will do so in its own time and in a way that will address Japan's broader political and security agenda.
And here is the agenda. Using an alleged threat of China's growing economic, political and military dominance, Japan has set out to (a) boost its economic growth by printing money, (b) step up its military buildup, (c) change its U.S.-imposed pacifist Constitution, (d) counter China's rising influence in East Asia and (e) become an aspiring regional security pillar.
A good bet is that Beijing is unimpressed by all that. China knows that its fast growing economy, its huge financial resources, incredibly rapid technological development and a steadfast alliance with Russia will make it an increasingly important player in shaping the changing world order.
(Read more: Place your bets: China or Japan?)
China also knows that Japan's political agenda may not sit well with Washington. First, because the U.S. does not seem eager for a military confrontation in the Pacific with a nuclear armed adversary -- which also owns nearly a quarter of America's debt held by foreigners -- in response to needlessly provocative actions of its friends and allies. Second, because Washington may see that Japan's offensive behavior toward South Korea is undermining its Asian strategy. Indeed, Japan and South Korea are supposed to work together to offset China's growing regional influence.
All that is certainly not lost on China. And some of the Japanese commentaries about Tokyo's motivation for its current and future plans may be music to China's ears.
Here is a sample.
A number of Japanese political analysts write that the country's present political class insists on visiting the Yasukuni shrine because they believe that Japan's war time leaders classified as criminals were victims of "victor's justice." According to these analysts, Japan's government also regards the country's present Constitution as a humiliation by an erstwhile occupying power.
All that has to change, they say. Japan should be free to worship its war veterans, and it should have its own Constitution. They, therefore, conclude that Japan has decided to take matters in its own hands because America's weak economy, and its fixation with intractable Middle East problems, make its commitment to Asia's security increasingly doubtful.