As the East China Sea islands dispute escalates between China and Japan, peripheral parties to the situation have begun formulating their own roles. US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta predictably wants to mellow things out, subtly comparing the current bilateral tensions as something akin to living in the past.
While the American perspective on the Diaoyu-Senkaku conflict may appear to resemble a distant armchair analysis, US troops are indeed directly involved in the scenario by way of Hawaii:
Some 70 years after the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese, Hawaii is set to play a central role in safeguarding that same country (and other Asian allies) against the potential threats of the 21st century, including those being attributed to a rising China.
It's a role that will likely benefit the Aloha State, which already enjoys a strong shot in the arm for its economy due to the military presence here.
But this certainly doesn't mean that China is in any way an official "enemy" to troops stationed in Hawaii. Peaceful coexistence is the ultimate goal for all parties, and Hawaii is looking like it will continue to benefit from both American military precautions as well as the persistent swells of Chinese tourists eager to spend time in a paradise not riddled with a glaring geopolitical conflict.