Chinese ships sail in disputed waters after Japan warning ” fears grow over a potential military clash “

→National Aug. 07, 2014 – 06:30AM JST ( 25 )

TOKYO —

Chinese coast guard ships sailed into waters off Japanese-controlled islands in the East China Sea on Wednesday, officials said, after Tokyo’s annual defense paper warned over China’s “dangerous acts” near the disputed archipelago.

The report, published Tuesday, said frequent appearances by Chinese ships in the area could lead to “unintended consequences”, as fears grow over a potential military clash between the Asian powers.

English: Aerial Photo of Kitakojima and Minami...
English: Aerial Photo of Kitakojima and Minamikojima of Senkaku Islands, Ishigaki City, Okinawa, Japan, 1978. 日本語: 北小島・南小島(尖閣諸島):沖縄県石垣市、東シナ海 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Three Chinese vessels sailed into territorial waters that extend 12 nautical miles around one of the Senkaku islands, which China also claims and calls the Diaoyus, the Japanese coast guard said.

The ships entered the area around 10 a.m. and left about two hours later, it said.

Continue reading “Chinese ships sail in disputed waters after Japan warning ” fears grow over a potential military clash “”

Japan, China trade claims over latest aerial provocation

 

by Reiji Yoshida and Mizuho Aoki

Jun 12, 2014

Tokyo and Beijing traded blame Thursday over the second close and potentially dangerous encounter in just over two weeks between Chinese SU-27 fighter jets and Japanese reconnaissance planes over the East China Sea.

 

The close encounter took place Wednesday where the air defense identification zones of China and Japan overlap due to their claims to the Senkaku Islands, a defense official told The Japan Times.

Senkaku Islands(Diaoyu Islands) Left:Uotsuri J...

Continue reading “Japan, China trade claims over latest aerial provocation”

Japan ASDF scrambles jets to intercept three Chinese planes

AFP-JIJI

The Air Self-Defense Force scrambled jets Sunday after three Chinese planes approached Japanese airspace, defense officials said.

The ASDF response was prompted by a Chinese Y-8 surveillance plane and two H-6 bombers that were flying in international airspace over the East China Sea between southern Japanese islands. The Chinese planes entered skies over the Pacific Ocean before heading back toward China along the same route Sunday morning, a spokesman for the Defense Ministry’s Joint Staff said. Continue reading “Japan ASDF scrambles jets to intercept three Chinese planes”

Senior Navy intelligence officer ” China was training its forces to be capable of carrying out a “short, sharp” war with Japan in the East China Sea “

Pentagon plays down intelligence officer’s provocative China assessment

Segment found at about 26:28

Source: Reuters – Fri, 21 Feb 2014 01:31 AM

Author: Reuters

WASHINGTON, Feb 20 (Reuters) – The Pentagon on Thursday played down remarks by a senior Navy intelligence officer who told a public forum that he believed China was training its forces to be capable of carrying out a “short, sharp” war with Japan in the East China Sea.

The comments by Captain James Fanell, director of intelligence and information operations at the U.S. Pacific Fleet, were little noticed when he made them last week at a conference on maritime strategy called “West 2014” in San Diego. They can be seen here: http://link.reuters.com/qyq96v Continue reading “Senior Navy intelligence officer ” China was training its forces to be capable of carrying out a “short, sharp” war with Japan in the East China Sea “”

China warns foreign military planes entering defense zone

By CHRISTOPHER BODEEN

Jan. 25, 2014 – 06:46AM JST ( 14 )

BEIJING —

China said Friday it has begun issuing warnings to foreign military planes entering its self-declared air defense zone over the East China Sea amid heightened tensions with its neighbors, especially Japan.

Bitter rhetoric between the neighbors has spiked since Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a late-December visit to a war shrine in Tokyo that outraged Beijing. Abe this week compared the tense relationship to the pre-World War I rivalry between Britain and Germany. Japanese officials say the comment was meant as a warning to avoid war. Continue reading “China warns foreign military planes entering defense zone”

Japan condemns China fishing curbs; vows to defend islands

Map of the South China Sea
Map of the South China Sea (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Kiyoshi Takenaka

National Jan. 13, 2014 – 06:35AM JST

– require foreign fishing vessels to obtain approval to enter disputed waters in the South China Sea, which the local government says are under its jurisdiction

NARASHINO —

Japan on Sunday joined the United States in criticizing China’s new fishing restrictions in the South China Sea, saying the curbs, coupled with the launch last year of an air defense zone, has left the international community jittery. Continue reading “Japan condemns China fishing curbs; vows to defend islands”

Is World War Three about to start… by accident? Max Hastings asks whether rising tensions between China and Japan could boil over

  • Chinese diplomat argued that Japan risks ‘serious threat to global peace’
  • He even compared Japan today to Lord Voldemort, from Harry Potter
  • It comes just weeks after China declared its own Air Defence Zone
  • Japan’s prime minister has threatened to shoot down any Chinese drones

By Max Hastings

UPDATED:          03:16 EST, 3 January 2014

Perhaps it is possible — and how nice it would be to believe this — that war between the greatest nations on earth has been abolished.

The cost and the threat of nuclear escalation is so horrendous that reason argues that nothing remotely resembling the 20th century’s vast global clashes can ever happen again.

Assuredly, there can be no more Dunkirks or D-Days, because no Western nation — even the United States — can deploy a mass army.

US and Chinese warships nearly collide amid tensions over airspace

USS Cowpens was near Liaoning aircraft carrier in South China Sea when another Chinese ship closed in, officials say

Reuters in Washington

theguardian.com,   Friday 13 December 2013 22.30 EST

China's Liaoning aircraft carrier

China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier on an East China Sea exercise in November. Photograph: AP

A US guided missile cruiser operating in international waters in the South China Sea was forced to take evasive action last week to avoid a collision with a Chinese warship, the US Pacific Fleet has revealed.


The USS Cowpens had been operating in the vicinity of China’s only aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, at a time of heightened tensions in the region following Beijing’s declaration of an air defence zone farther north in the East China Sea, a US defence official said.


Another Chinese warship came near the Cowpens in the incident on 5 December. The US ship was forced to take evasive action to avoid a collision, the Pacific Fleet said in its statement.


“Eventually, effective bridge-to-bridge communications occurred between the US and Chinese crews, and both vessels manoeuvred to ensure safe passage,” said a defence official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The Cowpens had been in the Philippines helping with disaster relief in the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan, which hit the region in November. The US navy said it was in the South China Sea conducting routine “freedom-of-navigation” operations – which are intended to assert the right of passage through a disputed area – when the incident occurred.

Continue reading “US and Chinese warships nearly collide amid tensions over airspace”

Impending Japan-China war has the makings of a Clancy classic

by Mark Schreiber

  • Online: Dec 07, 2013
  • Print: Dec 08, 2013
  • Last Modified: Dec 08, 2013
On Nov. 23, China announced the creation of a newly expanded air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea, overlapping a large expanse of territory also claimed by Japan. The move has produced a visceral reaction in the Japanese vernacular media, particularly the weekly tabloids. Five out of nine weekly magazines that went on sale last Monday and Tuesday contained scenarios that raised the possibility of a shooting war.

One can only wonder what sort of tale American “techno-thriller” writer Tom Clancy — author of “The Hunt for Red October” (1984, involving the Soviet Union) and “Debt of Honor” (1994, involving Japan) — might have spun from the scenario that’s now unfolding in the East China Sea.

Alas, Mr. Clancy passed away of an undisclosed illness on Oct. 1, so instead the task has fallen to Japan’s gunji hyōronka (military affairs critics) or gunji jānarisuto (military affairs writers), whose phones have been ringing off the hook.

First, let’s take Flash (Dec. 17), which ran a “Simulated breakout of war over the Senkakus,” with Mamoru Sato, a former Air Self-Defense Force general, providing editorial supervision. Flash’s scenario has the same tense tone as a Clancy novel, including dialog. On a day in August 2014, a radar operator instructs patrolling F-15J pilots to “scramble north” at an altitude of 65,000 feet to intercept a suspected intruder and proceeds from there.

Sunday Mainichi (Dec. 15) ran an article headlined “Sino-Japanese war to break out in January.” Political reporter Takao Toshikawa tells the magazine that the key to what happens next will depend on China’s economy. Continue reading “Impending Japan-China war has the makings of a Clancy classic”

New Yellow Sea naval drills seen as warning message

 

 
PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 December, 2013, 1:24pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 07 December, 2013, 3:33am
 

Minnie Chan minnie.chan@scmp.com

 

 

  • ef8062ffbe4562ac064935bb80db6e7.jpg       
A ship gun fires during last month’s exercises. Photo: SCMP
 

The PLA Navy launched eight days of naval drills in the Yellow Sea and Bohai Strait yesterday – a day after US Vice-President Joseph Biden departed China for South Korea.

The drills were confirmed by a navigation warning issued by the Liaoning Maritime Safety Administration, which oversees the area. The notice banned all civilian vessels from northern portions of the Yellow Sea and Bohai Strait from 4pm yesterday to the same time next Friday.

The administration said the area would be used for a military mission, suggesting that the People’s Liberation Army would be conducting naval drills similar to those conducted in the area last month.

The previous drills ended a day before the Ministry of National Defence announced the creation of an air defence identification zone (ADIZ) over mos of the adjacent East China Sea, drawing protests from Seoul, Taipei, Tokyo and Washington. The zone includes the disputed Diaoyu, or Senkaku, islands, which are claimed by Japan, as well as Taiwan.

Continue reading “New Yellow Sea naval drills seen as warning message”

China pulls out of UN process over territorial dispute with Philippines

• Move underscores China’s tough geopolitical stance in region • Territorial claims continue to dominate visit by Joe Biden

 

in Washington

theguardian.com,              Friday 6 December 2013 13.25 EST

Joe Biden in China
Fallout over China’s territorial claims has become the dominant issue for Joe Biden. Photograph: HAP/Quirky China News/Rex

China is taking the highly unusual step of refusing to participate in a United Nations arbitration process over a territorial conflict with the Philippines, one of five countries challenging Beijing’s claims of ownership over the oil-rich South China Sea.

The legal dispute underscores the tough geopolitical approach China is adopting in the Pacific region. It has adopted an aggressive approach toward neighbours over a 2,000-mile stretch that also includes the East China Sea, over which it recently declared the air defence identification zone that has inflamed tensions with Japan and South Korea.

Continue reading “China pulls out of UN process over territorial dispute with Philippines”

U.S. advises airlines to comply with China air zone demands

 

By IAN MADER

National Nov. 30, 2013 – 04:40PM JST ( 16 )

BEIJING —

The United States on Saturday advised U.S. carriers to comply with China’s demand that it be told of any flights passing through its new maritime air defense zone over the East China Sea, an area where Beijing said it launched two fighter planes to investigate a dozen American and Japanese reconnaissance and military flights.

It was the first time since proclaiming the zone on Nov 23 that China said it sent planes there on the same day as foreign military flights, although it said it merely identified the foreign planes and took no further action.

China announced last week that all aircraft entering the zone — a maritime area between China, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan — must notify Chinese authorities beforehand and that it would take unspecified defensive measures against those that don’t comply. Neighboring countries and the U.S. have said they will not honor the new zone — believed aimed at claiming disputed territory — and have said it unnecessarily raises tensions.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement that the U.S. remained deeply concerned about China’s declared air identification zone. But she said that it is advising U.S. air carriers abroad to comply with notification requirements issued by China.

Continue reading “U.S. advises airlines to comply with China air zone demands”

China scrambles military planes after US and Japan fly sorties into new zone

EEV: Read the Link to article at bottom – “japan-prime-target-chinas-new-air-zone-state-media”

Tensions rise as US and Japan fly sorties and South Korea puts contested island in its own zone

surveillance_pek.jpg

Kristine Kwok kristine.kwok@scmp.com

PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 November, 2013, 10:26am
UPDATED : Friday, 29 November, 2013, 11:49pm

Chinese military aircraft were scrambled yesterday after US and Japanese planes flew into the mainland’s new air defence identification zone.

Earlier, South Korea announced plans to include a tiny island contested with China under its own air defence zone, potentially raising the diplomatic temperature further.

PLA Air Force spokesman Shen Jianke said the air force ordered Su-30 and Qian-11 planes to verify the identity of the aircraft inside the zone yesterday morning.

The PLA identified two US aircraft and 10 Japanese aircraft. The US planes made two sorties across the zone, while the Japanese made seven.

Continue reading “China scrambles military planes after US and Japan fly sorties into new zone”

China sends warplanes to new air defence zone amid tensions

China has reacted to US and Japanese breaches by reportedly announcing it will   now carry out regular patrols

Japanese officials say the country's air force and coastguard have flown through China's air defence identification zone without meeting any resistance

A Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force surveillance plane flies over the disputed islands in the East China Sea, called the Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China Photo: AP
Alex Spillius

By , Diplomatic Correspondent

5:20PM GMT 28 Nov 2013

China has dispatched war planes to a newly declared air defence zone over the   East China Sea, according to reports.

Xinhua, the state news agency, quoted an air force colonel as saying the   aircraft had carried out “routine patrols” of the zone, which covers nearly   one million square miles of airspace.

If confirmed, the move would dramatically escalate tensions already running high after the United States, Japan and South Korea all ignored the declaration, which was made at the weekend.

China had insisted that any planes traversing the area should submit flight   plans or face “emergency defensive measures”.

Washington responded by sending in two unarmed B52 bombers into the zone on   Tuesday, while Japan and South Korea yesterday flew military aircraft into   the area in defiance of Beijing.

‘Hostile’ aircraft could be shot down in new air zone: Chinese air force general

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 November, 2013, 3:07pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 November, 2013, 5:06pm

Chris Luo chris.luo@scmp.com

  • tpbjc201310173ba_38764009.jpg

The Chinese guided missile destroyer No. 139 of the PLA Navy’s North Sea Fleet fires a missile during a naval drill in the Yellow Sea on Oct. 17, 2013. Photo: Xinhua

A PLA air force general has warned that any foreign aircraft disobeying warnings and deemed to be “hostile” could be shot down in China’s newly-established air defence identification zone (ADIZ), Chinese media reported on Wednesday.

Continue reading “‘Hostile’ aircraft could be shot down in new air zone: Chinese air force general”

Criticism of China’s ADIZ increases; Japanese airlines do a policy U-turn / All Nippon Airways now refuse to comply with China

An All Nippon Airways Co. jet taxis at Tokyo’s Haneda airport on Oct. 27. Japanese airlines reversed their earlier announcements that they would follow rules set by China over its air defense identification zone. | BLOOMBERG

AFP-JIJI

Several governments joined Japan Tuesday in criticizing China’s latest bid to carve out a zone of control in the East China Sea, including Australia summoning Beijing’s ambassador to voice opposition over the move.As administrations around the world began lining up against Beijing over its unilaterally declared Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ), dismissing it as invalid, Japan called on its airlines to refuse China’s demands that they obey new rules when entering the zone.

China’s declaration of an air defence zone has sharply escalated tensions in the region.

The rules Beijing announced at the weekend mean China has effectively demanded control over the airspace above a swathe of the East China Sea criss-crossed by vital transport lanes.

All Nippon Airways (ANA) initially said that since Sunday it has been submitting flight plans to Chinese authorities for any plane that was due to pass through the area, which includes islands at the centre of a bitter territorial row between Tokyo and Beijing.

Its affiliate Peach Aviation said it was doing the same “for now” and Japan Airlines said it was also complying with the rules.

But late Tuesday the Kyodo and Jiji news agencies reported that both All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines had reversed that decision, giving no further explanations.

Continue reading “Criticism of China’s ADIZ increases; Japanese airlines do a policy U-turn / All Nippon Airways now refuse to comply with China”

US military aircraft defies China’s new defence zone to fly over disputed East China Sea

Two US B-52 bombers have flown over the disputed Senkaku/Daiyou islands, ‘in a   direct challenge’ to China’s new air defence zone

A group of disputed islands, Uotsuri island , Minamikojima and Kitakojima, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China is seen in the East China Sea

A group of disputed islands, Uotsuri island , Minamikojima and Kitakojima, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China is seen in the East China Sea Photo: REUTERS

By Peter Foster, Washington

5:46PM GMT 26 Nov 2013

THE United States sent a clear message to China yesterday not to over-step its   territorial ambitions in the East China Sea by flying a pair of B-52 nuclear   bombers through air-space disputed by Japan and China.

The flights by the two unarmed aircraft came three days after Beijing   unilaterally declared an aerial identification zone over a large area that   includes the Senkaku islands – known as Diayou in China – that are the   subject of a bitter territorial feud with Japan.

The two US aircraft did not identify themselves as they entered China’s   self-declared Air Defence Identification Zone, a Pentagon spokesman said on   Tuesday, who pointedly referred to the disputed islands by their Japanese   name.

Continue reading “US military aircraft defies China’s new defence zone to fly over disputed East China Sea”

Chinese embassy in Tokyo has called on all Chinese citizens in Japan to voluntarily register with its consular section as tensions between the two countries reach new heights

diaoyu.jpg

PUBLISHED : Monday, 25 November, 2013, 12:20pm
UPDATED : Monday, 25 November, 2013, 6:16pm

Patrick Boehler patrick.boehler@scmp.com

The Chinese embassy in Tokyo has called on all Chinese citizens in Japan to voluntarily register with its consular section as tensions between the two countries reach new heights over a territorial dispute in the East China Sea.

The embassy called on all the Chinese living in Japan to register “to facilitate consular assistance” in case of “a major unexpected emergency”, according to a statement on its website. Chinese living in Japan were asked to submit contact details of next of kin in Japan and China.

According to Japanese census data, there are more than 600,000 people of Chinese descent living in Japan. Chinese media have reported the majority of this group are students, business people and employees of Japanese companies, but it is unclear how many of them have retained Chinese citizenship.

A registration form was uploaded on the diplomatic mission’s homepage in early November, but attracted widespread attention over the weekend after China announced on Saturday it was setting up an “air defence identification zone” in the East China Sea, which covers the disputed Diaoyu Islands.

The zone, which overlaps roughly in half of Japanese airspace claims, requires all airplanes crossing it to report to the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the civil aviation administration. China launched an aerial patrol to enforce the claims on Saturday, while Japan deployed two fighter jets to intercept the patrols.

China’s leaders are determined to pursue their interests with little heed to their neighbours
Dr Sheila A. Smith

The US and South Korea has expressed concern over the move. Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida warned of the “danger of unpredictable events on the spot” in a reaction on Sunday.

Read More:http://www.scmp.com/news/china-insider/article/1365185/chinese-japan-told-register-emergencies-amid-territorial-row

U.S. vows to defend Japan after China announces new air zone

 

Nov. 24, 2013 – 03:00PM JST ( 18 )

U.S. vows to defend Japan after China announces new air zone The disputed islands in the East China Sea known as the Senkakus in Japan and the Diaoyus in ChinaAFP

GENEVA —

The United States said Sunday it was “deeply concerned” and committed to defending Japan after China announced an air zone in the East China Sea that includes disputed islands.

In a move that U.S. ally Japan branded as “very dangerous,” China said it was setting up the “air defense identification zone” over the islands administered by Tokyo to “guard against potential air threats.”

In similar statements, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking from Geneva, and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said Sunday that the United States was “deeply concerned” about the moves by China, which also scrambled air force jets to carry out a patrol mission in the newly declared zone.

Continue reading “U.S. vows to defend Japan after China announces new air zone”

China creates air defence zone over Japan-controlled islands as of 10.00am Saturday

Aircraft in the zone are expected to provide their flight plan, clearly mark their nationality, and maintain radio communication with Chinese authorities

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 23 November, 2013, 1:27pm

spending_pxp200_34408365.jpg

A view from a Chinese surveillance aircraft shows the disputed Diaoyu Islands claimed by China and Japan. Photos: Reuters

Beijing on Saturday announced it was setting up an “air defence identification zone” over an area that includes islands controlled by Japan but claimed by China, in a move that could inflame the bitter territorial row.

Along with the creation of the zone in the East China Sea, the defence ministry released a set of aircraft identification rules that must be followed by all planes entering the area, under penalty of intervention by the military.

Aircraft are expected to provide their flight plan, clearly mark their nationality, and maintain two-way radio communication allowing them to “respond in a timely and accurate manner to the identification inquiries” from Chinese authorities.

Map of the air defence zone published by the Ministry of Defence on Saturday. Photo: SCMP Pictues

Continue reading “China creates air defence zone over Japan-controlled islands as of 10.00am Saturday”

China accuses Japan of interfering in naval drills

Nov. 01, 2013 – 06:17AM JST

BEIJING —

China’s Defense Ministry said on Thursday it has lodged a formal diplomatic complaint over what it called “dangerous provocation” by Japan for shadowing Chinese military exercises in the western Pacific.

Sino-Japanese ties have been strained for months by a dispute over tiny islands in the East China Sea believed to be surrounded by energy-rich waters. They have also been overshadowed by what China says is Japan’s refusal to admit to atrocities committed by Japanese soldiers in China between 1931 and 1945.

Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said that a Japanese naval and air patrol disrupted a Chinese live ammunition military drill last Friday, without giving the precise location.

Yang also said Japanese patrols of ships and aircraft were gathering information about the exercises.

“Not only did this interfere with our normal exercises, but endangered the safety of our ships and aircraft, which could have led to a miscalculation or mishap or other sudden incident,” Yang told a news briefing.

“This is a highly dangerous provocation, and China’s Defense Ministry has made solemn representations to the Japanese side,” he added, according to a transcript of his remarks on the ministry’s website.

Diplomatic complaints are normally lodged by the Foreign Ministry, so the Defense Ministry’s unusual move signals the military’s anger.

A former Japanese military officer told Reuters this week that the situation in the East China Sea was worrisome.

“As the Chinese are getting more active, we have more opportunities to confront each other,” he said. “If something happens accidentally, it may very seriously deteriorate the bilateral relationship.”

Ties between the two countries took a hit in September 2012 after Japan bought two of the disputed islets from a private owner, setting off a wave of protests and boycotts of Japanese goods across China.

China on Saturday criticised a Japanese media report saying Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had approved a policy for Japan to shoot down foreign drones that ignore warnings to exit its airspace.

Abe has said Japan is ready to take a more assertive stance toward China.

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2013.

 

http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/china-accuses-japan-of-interfering-in-naval-drills-2

Japan’s PM warns China on use of force as jets scrambled

By AFP | AFP – 8 hours ago

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (C) delivers a speech next to Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera (L) during military review at the Ground Self-Defence Force's Asaka training ground, on October 27, 2013

 

AFP/AFP – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (C) delivers a speech next to Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera (L) during military review at the Ground Self-Defence Force’s Asaka training ground, on October 27, …more  2013  less 

 

Japan’s leader warned China on Sunday against forcibly changing the regional balance of power, as reports said Tokyo had scrambled fighter jets in response to Chinese military aircraft flying near Okinawa.

Verbal skirmishing between Asia’s two biggest economies, who dispute ownership of an island chain, escalated as Beijing warned Tokyo that any hostile action in the skies against Chinese drones would be construed as an “act of war”.

“We will express our intention as a state not to tolerate a change in the status quo by force. We must conduct all sorts of activities such as surveillance and intelligence for that purpose,” Abe said in an address to the military.

“The security environment surrounding Japan is becoming increasingly severe. This is the reality,” he said. “You will have to completely rid yourselves of the conventional notion that just the existence of a defence force could act as a deterrent.”

Abe presided over an inspection of the military at which a US amphibious assault vehicle was displayed for the first time, an apparent sign of Japan’s intention to strengthen its ability to protect remote islands.

The defence ministry plans to create a special amphibious unit to protect the southern islands and retake them in case of an invasion.

“There are concerns that China is attempting to change the status quo by force, rather than by rule of law,” Abe earlier told the Wall Street Journal in an interview following a series of summits this month with regional leaders.

“But if China opts to take that path, then it won’t be able to emerge peacefully,” he said in the interview published Saturday.

“So it shouldn’t take that path, and many nations expect Japan to strongly express that view. And they hope that as a result, China will take responsible action in the international community,” Abe added.

On Sunday Jiji Press and Kyodo News reported that Japan had deployed jets for two days running in response to four Chinese military aircraft flying over international waters near the Okinawa island chain.

Two Y8 early-warning aircraft and two H6 bombers flew from the East China Sea to the Pacific Ocean and back again but did not violate Japan’s airspace, the reports said.

The Japanese defence ministry was not immediately available for confirmation.

Japan’s military is on increased alert as Tokyo and Beijing pursue a war of words over the disputed islands in the East China Sea that lie between Okinawa and Taiwan.

On Saturday China responded angrily after a report said Japan had drafted plans to shoot down foreign drones that encroach on its airspace if warnings to leave are ignored.

Tokyo drew up the proposals after a Chinese military drone entered Japan’s air defence identification zone near the disputed islands in the East China Sea last month, Kyodo said.

“We would advise relevant parties not to underestimate the Chinese military’s staunch resolve to safeguard China’s national territorial sovereignty,” China’s defence ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said in comments posted on the ministry’s website.

“If Japan takes enforcement measures such as shooting down aircraft, as it says it will, that would constitute a serious provocation, an act of war of sorts, and we would have to take firm countermeasures, and all consequences would be the responsibility of the side that caused the provocation.”

Tokyo and Beijing both claim the small uninhabited islands in the East China Sea. Japan administers them and calls them the Senkakus. China refers to the islands as the Diaoyus.

One of Abe’s first decisions as prime minister was to increase the defence budget for the first time in 11 years.

Tokyo also plans to hold a major air and sea exercise next month to bolster its ability to protect its remote islands.

In the Wall Street Journal interview, Abe said Japan had become too inward-looking over the past 15 years, but as it regains economic strength “we’d like to contribute more to making the world a better place”.

The Journal said he made it clear that one way Japan would “contribute” would be countering China in Asia.

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/japans-pm-warns-china-force-jets-scrambled-064532251.html#fyVOiRM

 

Abe says he is ready to be more assertive against China / “If Japan does resort to enforcement measures like shooting down aircraft, that is a serious provocation to us, an act of war.” China’s Defense Ministry

Politics Oct. 27, 2013 – 06:00AM JST ( 12 )

TOKYO —

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in an interview published on Saturday, said Japan was ready to be more assertive towards China as Beijing threatened to strike back if provoked.

A top retired Chinese diplomat said any move by Tokyo to contain China could amount to an attempt to conceal ulterior  motives in the region and prove to be “extremely dangerous”. And the defense ministry warned Japan not to underestimate China’s  resolve to take whatever measures were needed to protect itself.

Abe, interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, said Japan should take the lead in guarding against what he said might be an attempt by China to use force to attain its diplomatic goals.

He said he had realized at recent meetings with South East Asian leaders that the region sought leadership from Tokyo in terms of security amid China’s more forthright diplomacy.

“There are concerns that China is attempting to change the status quo by force, rather than by rule of law. But if China opts to take that path, then it won’t be able to emerge peacefully,” he told the newspaper.

“So it shouldn’t take that path and many nations expect Japan to strongly express that view. And they hope that as a result, China will take responsible action in the international community.”

China took issue with a Japanese media report saying Abe had approved a policy for Japan to shoot down foreign drones that ignore warnings to leave its airspace.

“Don’t underestimate the Chinese army’s resolute will and determination to protect China’s territorial sovereignty,” Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yansheng said on the ministry’s website. “If Japan does resort to enforcement measures like shooting down aircraft, that is a serious provocation to us, an act of war.

“We will undertake decisive action to strike back, with every consequence borne by the side that caused the trouble,” Geng added.

Relations have deteriorated sharply in the past year, with the main sticking point being conflicting claims to uninhabited islets in the East China Sea, known in Japan as the Senkaku islands and in China as Diaoyu.

Ties have taken a further battering over visits by Japanese lawmakers this month to the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo honoring both war dead and Japanese leaders convicted as war criminals.

China is also at odds with several South East Asian states contesting its claims to large swathes of the South China Sea.

Former Chinese foreign minister Tang Jiaxuan, addressing a forum in Beijing, said that Japan hoped to enlist the United Nations and the international community to curb China’s actions in the region, according to media reports.

Tang made no reference to Abe’s latest comments, but said any attempt to contain China either amounted to a distorted view of China or “the rendering of an image of the ‘Chinese menace’ to achieve an ulterior political goal”.

“I hope it’s the former, because if it’s the latter, not only is it futile, it is also extremely dangerous.”

President Xi Jinping adopted a more conciliatory tone at a conference on diplomacy this week, saying good relations with neighbors were crucial to a stable foreign policy.

Abe took office last year for a rare second term and is seen as a hawkish nationalist with a conservative agenda that includes revising a post-war pacifist constitution drafted by the United States, strengthening Japan’s defense posture and recasting wartime history with a less apologetic tone.

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2013.

http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/abe-says-he-is-ready-to-be-more-assertive-against-china

 

All Chinese journalists ordered to censor supportive stances toward Japan

Kyodo

  • Oct 20, 2013

BEIJING – China’s Communist Party has begun ordering all Chinese journalists not to take supportive stances toward Japan when writing about territorial and historical issues between the two countries, participants of a mandatory training program revealed Saturday.

Around 250,000 journalists who work for various Chinese media organizations must attend the nationwide training program to learn about such topics as Marxist views on journalism, laws and regulations and norms in news-gathering and editing, in order to get their press accreditation renewed. The unified program started in mid-October and will run through the end of this year.

It is believed to be the first time the ruling Chinese Communist Party, which tightly controls the country’s media industry, has carried out this kind of training program before renewing press credentials.

On Japan, the instructors denounced Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s “right-leaning” policies and urged reporters from newspapers, news agencies, broadcasters and online media to refrain from concessionary comments regarding China’s claims over the Japan-held Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, the participants said. China claims the islets as Diaoyu.

But at the same time, they warned participants not to adopt overly belligerent positions vis-a-vis Japan.

In addition to Japan, the instructors said the United States is “trying to undermine our country” and criticized the Philippines and Vietnam, which are mired in territorial disputes with China, the participants said.

They were also told to reject democracy and human rights, as these values, the instructors said, are claimed by “the West as universal (but) are targeting China’s Communist Party.”

One group of instructors praised Russian President Vladimir Putin, as the Chinese government has been trying to promote images of close relations with him, according to the participants.

After taking the program, Chinese journalists are required to pass an exam, seen taking place between January and February, to obtain press cards.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/10/20/national/all-chinese-journalists-ordered-to-censor-supportive-stances-toward-japan/#.UmNE7MHn_Vg

Secret Japan-China talks held over island dispute

Oct. 16, 2013 – 07:01AM JST

TOKYO —

A senior Chinese government official has secretly visited Japan for talks with Japanese officials aimed at improving bilateral relations damaged by an ongoing territorial row, a report said Tuesday.

The talks involving a high-ranking official from the Chinese foreign ministry’s Asian division were thought to have been held in early October, Japanese news agency Jiji Press reported from Beijing quoting Chinese government sources.

A high-ranking official from the Japanese foreign ministry attended the meeting, the report said.

A Japanese foreign ministry official declined comment on the content of the report, saying: “Japan and China have been making various exchanges at various levels.”

The Tokyo-Beijing ties took a nosedive in September last year over the ownership of the Japan-controlled Senkaku islands, which China also claims and calls the Diaoyus.

The row over the islands in the East China Sea has led to warnings of a possible armed confrontation.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe managed a brief encounter and shook the hand of Chinese President Xi Jinping last week on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific summit in Indonesia. But China rejected a formal sit-down meeting between them due to the island dispute.

Abe has not held formal talks with Chinese and South Korean leaders since taking office last December. Tokyo also has a dispute with Seoul over a group of South Korea-controlled isles.

The legacy of Japan’s 20th century wartime aggression has also been souring Tokyo’s ties with the neighbors.

(C) 2013 AFP

http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/secret-japan-china-talks-held-over-island-dispute

China warns U.S., Japan, Australia not to gang up in sea disputes

Politics Oct. 07, 2013 – 02:05PM JST

SHANGHAI —

China said on Monday the United States, Australia and Japan should not use their alliance as an excuse to intervene in territorial disputes in the East China Sea and South China Sea, and urged them to refrain from inflaming regional tensions.

On Friday, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry raised the maritime disputes during a trilateral strategic dialogue in Bali, Indonesia.

Relations between China and Japan, the world’s second- and third-largest economies, have been troubled in recent years by a row over tiny, uninhabited islands in the East China Sea known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.

In the South China Sea, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei and China are involved in long-standing sovereignty disputes over the potentially oil- and gas-rich island chain.

A joint statement from the U.S.-Japan-Australia meeting opposed “coercive or unilateral actions” that could change the status quo in the East China Sea and called on claimants to maritime disputes in the South China Sea to refrain from destabilising actions, according to the State Department website.

“The United States, Japan and Australia are allies but this should not become an excuse to interfere in territorial disputes, otherwise it will only make the problems more complicated and harm the interests of all parties,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Monday.

“We urge the relevant countries to respect facts, distinguish right from wrong, be cautious, and stop all words and deeds that are not beneficial to the proper handling of the issue and undermine regional stability,” she said in comments on the ministry website.

The U.S.-Japan-Australia meeting took place on the sidelines of an annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting on the Indonesian island of Bali.

Separately, another Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Qin Gang, voiced China’s opposition to Kishida’s raising of maritime security at an informal breakfast meeting with foreign ministers, saying that it has long been considered inappropriate to discuss issues of political security or sensitive and controversial topics at APEC.

“There has not been a problem with freedom and security of navigation in this region for a long time,” Qin said in another statement released late on Sunday.

“Playing up so-called maritime security issue goes against real efforts for the freedom and security of navigation.”

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2013.

 

http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/china-warns-u-s-japan-australia-not-to-gang-up-in-sea-disputes

Ships patrol Diaoyu Islands in advance of anniversary

China sends large coastguard flotilla to mark Japan’s purchase of disputed islands last year

    Wednesday, 11 September, 2013 [Updated: 10:00AM]
  • _tok520_38015161.jpg
Vessels from the China Maritime Surveillance and the Japan Coast Guard near the disputed Diaoyu Islands. Photo: Reuters

China and Japan entered into a fresh round of bitter exchanges over their territorial row in the East China Sea yesterday – one day ahead of the anniversary of Japan’s purchase of the disputed Diaoyu Islands.

Beijing sent seven coastguard ships to patrol around the islands, which are known as the Senkakus in Japan, prompting Tokyo to lodge a formal protest and raise the possibility of stationing Japanese government workers on the island.

The latest Chinese patrol was the 59th since last September, when Tokyo announced that it would buy several of the islands, China’s State Oceanic Administration said.

In response, Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Akitaka Saiki summoned China’s ambassador in Tokyo, Cheng Yonghua, to protest against the patrol. Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said the ministry was strengthening its surveillance of the islands.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said stationing government workers on the islands was an “option”..

In Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei hit back at Tokyo’s claims, saying Japan has to “remedy mistakes” and China was “seriously concerned” about Japan’s plans.

“Japan has to bear all the consequences if it recklessly takes provocative moves,” Hong said.

The State Oceanic Administration gave detailed accounts of its law enforcement since last September. It said vessels had gone within 0.28 nautical miles of the islands during the patrols. Japanese vessels had come within 10 metres of Chinese ships.

President Xi Jinping told Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a brief encounter on the sidelines of a G20 summit in St Petersburg last week that Sino-Japanese ties faced “grave difficulties”.

A report by Kyodo, citing Japanese government sources, said Japan was exploring a formal meeting between the two leaders at next month’s Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit in Indonesia, but Tokyo was also planning to set up by 2015 a special military unit dedicated to “reclaiming islands”.

Da Zhigang, an expert in Japanese affairs at the Heilongjiang Academy of Social Sciences, said a quick improvement in relations is unlikely. “No one is sure if Abe is sincere or not,” he said.

 

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1307944/ships-patrol-diaoyu-islands-advance-anniversary

China warns Japan against stationing workers on disputed isles ” would not tolerate provocation “

National Sep. 11, 2013 – 06:55AM JST ( 45 )

TOKYO/BEIJING —

China on Tuesday said it would not tolerate provocation after Japan’s top government spokesman said the country might station government workers on disputed islands in the East China Sea to defend its sovereignty.

Relations between the world’s second- and third-biggest economies, have been strained over the uninhabited isles which Japan controls but both countries claim. The isles are known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.

A year ago on Wednesday, the Japanese government bought three of the isles from a private owner, inflaming anger in China where there were big anti-Japan protests over the purchase.

Aircraft and ships from the two countries have played cat-and mouse in the vicinity of the islands ever since, raising fears that an accidental encounter could spark conflict.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, speaking on the eve of the anniversary, said it was “extremely regrettable” that Chinese government ships had repeatedly entered what he descried as Japan’s territorial waters.

The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was making “resolute but calm responses to defend our territory, territorial waters and airspace decisively”, he said.

“Our country will never make a concession on the matter of sovereignty,” he said.

Asked if Japan might station government workers on the islands, Suga said: “That is one option”.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei expressed “serious concern” about his remarks.

“The Chinese government has an unshakeable resolve and determination to protect the country’s territorial sovereignty and will not tolerate any provocative acts of escalation over China’s sovereignty,” he told a daily news briefing.

“If the Japanese side recklessly makes provocative moves, it will have to accept the consequences.”

Relations between the neighbors have also been shadowed for years by what Beijing says has been Tokyo’s refusal to properly atone for wartime atrocities committed by Japanese soldiers in China between 1931 and 1945.

In the latest incident off the islands, seven Chinese patrol ships entered what Japan considers its territorial waters near them on Tuesday, Japan’s coast guard said.

Hong said it was a normal, routine mission.

On Monday, Japan scrambled fighter jets when it spotted what appeared to be an unmanned drone aircraft flying towards Japan over the East China Sea.

It was not clear what country the unidentified aircraft belonged to but Japan’s Foreign Ministry had made an inquiry about it with the Chinese side, Suga said.

Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said on Monday that Japan would be on guard for the first anniversary of Japan’s purchase of the islands.

“September 11 was the day when the flare-up of tension between Japan and China was triggered. I think a firm posture is being called for,” Onodera said.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka in TOKYO and Ben Blanchard in BEIJING; Editing by Nick Macfie)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2013.

http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/china-warns-japan-against-stationing-workers-on-disputed-isles

Japan could anger China by putting government workers on isles

A Japan Coast Guard boat (front) and vessel sail as Uotsuri island, one of the disputed islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, is pictured in the background, in the East China Sea August 18, 2013. REUTERS/Ruairidh Villar

A Japan Coast Guard boat (front) and vessel sail as Uotsuri island, one of the disputed islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, is pictured in the background, in the East China Sea August 18, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Ruairidh Villar

TOKYO |          Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:34am BST

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan might station government workers on disputed islands in the East China Sea to defend its sovereignty, the top government spokesman said on Tuesday, raising the possibility of action that would inevitably anger China.

Relations between Asia’s second- and third-biggest economies have been strained over the uninhabited isles which Japan controls but both countries claim. The isles are known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.

A year ago on Wednesday, the Japanese government bought three of the isles from a private owner, inflaming anger in China where there were big anti-Japan protests over the purchase.

Aircraft and ships from the two countries have played cat-and mouse in the vicinity of the islands ever since, raising fears that an accidental encounter could spark conflict.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, speaking on the eve of the sensitive anniversary, said it was “extremely regrettable” that Chinese government ships had repeatedly entered what he described as Japan’s territorial waters.

The Japanese government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was making “resolute but calm responses to defend our territory, territorial waters and airspace decisively”, he said.

“Our country will never make a concession on the matter of sovereignty,” he said.

Asked if Japan might station government workers on the islands, Suga said: “That is one option”.

In the latest incident off the islands, seven Chinese patrol ships entered what Japan considers its territorial waters near them on Tuesday, Japan’s coastguard said.

On Monday, Japan scrambled fighter jets when it spotted what appeared to be an unmanned drone aircraft flying toward Japan over the East China Sea.

It was not clear what country the unidentified aircraft belonged to but Japan’s Foreign Ministry had made an inquiry about it with the Chinese side, Suga said.

Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said on Monday that Japan would be on guard for the first anniversary of Japan’s purchase of the islands.

“September 11 was the day when the flare-up of tension between Japan and China was triggered. I think a firm posture is being called for,” Onodera said.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Robert Birsel)

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/09/10/uk-japan-china-idUKBRE98906O20130910?rpc=401&feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews&rpc=401

Japan scrambles jets in response to drone

reason.com — Sep 10

Japan scrambled fighter jets Monday after an unidentified drone flew near Tokyo-controlled islands at the centre of a bitter dispute with China, a defence ministry spokesman said.

It was the first reported incident of its kind.Japan’s Air Self-Defense Force sent an unspecified number of jets to the area, the official said.The drones did not enter Japanese airspace, the official said.

尖閣諸島付近で国籍不明の無人機が確認されたことについて、中国外務省は「そのような­事態は把握していない」とコメントしました。

Chinese bombers prompt Japanese jet scramble

Kyodo News InternationalSeptember 8, 2013 12:18

     Japan’s Defense Ministry said Sunday two Chinese H-6 bombers flew round trip from the East China Sea to the Pacific Ocean without violating Japanese airspace the same day after overflying waters between Okinawa islands.

The Japan Air Self-Defense Force scrambled fighter aircraft, the ministry said. It was the first time the ministry has made an announcement after confirming the passing of Chinese bombardment aircraft through a chain of islands off the southwest coast of Japan.

Japan has scrambled fighter jets to head off a number of Chinese military planes since Tokyo put a group of East China Sea islands at the center of a territorial row under state control on Sept. 11, 2012.

Japan has been on alert against Chinese action prior to the first anniversary of its move on the uninhabited islands.

According to the ministry, the two H-6 bombers headed back to China after flying in skies between Okinawa’s main and Miyako islands.

In late July, a Chinese early warning aircraft overflew waters between the two islands, making it the first-ever Chinese military plane to do so.

==Kyodo

Copyright 2013 Kyodo News International.

All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/kyodo-news-international/130908/chinese-bombers-prompt-japanese-jet-scramble

China rules out talks with Japan on disputed Diaoyus

    Wednesday, 28 August, 2013 [Updated: 5:28AM]
  • japan_coast.jpg
A Japan Coast Guard vessel patrols off the disputed Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea. Photo: Reuters

China sees no reason to hold talks with Japan over their dispute about ownership of a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, Deputy Foreign Minister Li Baodong said.

Li said Japan’s call for high-level talks was not genuine, but merely grandstanding.

A meeting between leaders is not simply for the sake of shaking hands and taking pictures, but to resolve problems. If Japan wants to arrange a meeting to resolve problems, they should stop with the empty talk and doing stuff for show
Deputy Foreign Minister Li Baodong

“A meeting between leaders is not simply for the sake of shaking hands and taking pictures, but to resolve problems,” Li said ahead of President Xi Jinping’s attendance at the G20 summit next week.

“If Japan wants to arrange a meeting to resolve problems, they should stop with the empty talk and doing stuff for show,” Li said, when asked about the possibility of a meeting of Chinese and Japanese leaders at the G20.

China’s blunt rejection came as Japan yesterday voiced irritation over a remark by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who called on Tokyo to face up to the past and improve ties with its neighbours. Speaking in Seoul on Monday, Ban called for “very deep introspection” by Japanese leaders, especially with regard to moves in Japan to revise its pacifist constitution. “I find it very regrettable that the tension [among the three northeast Asian countries] continues on due to issues of history and other political reasons,” Ban said.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said he doubted if Ban was fully aware of the efforts Japan was making towards dialogue with China and South Korea.

“Prime Minister [Shinzo Abe] has called for dialogue with South Korea and China despite issues of concern,” Suga said. “I feel a strong sense of doubt as to whether the remark was made with full understanding of our country’s position.”

However, Professor Lian Degui , of the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, said it was unlikely that a Chinese state leader would meet Abe if Japan did not address Beijing’s concerns over Tokyo’s nationalising of the Diaoyu Islands, which Japan refers to as the Senkakus.

“If Japan really wants to improve ties with China, then it should address our concern,” he said. “It makes no sense for Tokyo to ask for a dialogue if Japan does not change its stance.”

Japan’s coastguard said yesterday that three Chinese coastguard vessels had entered what Japan considered to be its territorial waters near the disputed islands. China said the trip was a routine patrol in its own waters.

Reuters, Agence France Presse; additional reporting by Teddy Ng

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1299690/china-sees-no-basis-talks-japan-over-islands-dispute

 

Japan could be ‘main player’ if Asia conflicts break out: defense minister

 

By Harumi Ozawa

Politics Aug. 27, 2013 – 02:01PM JST ( 6 )

TOKYO —

Japan could be a key participant if conflict breaks out in Asia, the defense minister said Monday, warning China is seeking to exploit difficulties between allies.

The comments by Itsuno Onodera, who said Japan needs new equipment and must reconfigure its defense, come as Tokyo is embroiled in an ongoing spat with Beijing over disputed territory that has sparked warnings of a possible armed skirmish.

“The crisis that Japan faces now may lead to situations in which the country may have to be involved as a main player,” Onodera told a symposium in the capital.

“Before, it was expected that Japan would only be part of a group (involved in any confrontation),” he said, in apparent reference to the U.S.-Japan security alliance.

“Or that a conflict might occur only in areas surrounding the country,” he said. “Japan’s defense has been designed for that scenario.

“But Japan (now) needs to have a good defense to protect the country, which can mean equipment, new aircraft, defense systems or cyber protection.”

Onodera said Tokyo needed to be wary of China’s maritime expansion in the South and East China Sea.

“China has made more and more advancement into the seas,” he said. “When it did not have as much military capability, China tried to promote dialogue and economic cooperation, setting territorial rows aside. But when it sees a chance, any daylight between a nation and its ally, it makes blunt advancements. This is what is happening and what we should learn from the situation in Southeast Asia.”

Onodera’s speech came as he readied to head to Brunei to participate in the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+) starting on Wednesday.

The group gathers defense ministers from Southeast Asian nations and eight other regional powers—Japan, China, South Korea, the U.S., Russia, India, Australia and New Zealand.

Onodera said he will “repeatedly explain Japan’s position to his Asian counterparts” and that Tokyo’s motives were entirely defensive.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe this year boosted Japan’s defense budget for the first time in over a decade against the backdrop of growing concerns among many countries in the region about China.

But any move to strengthen military capabilities rouses hostility and suspicion in the region, much of which labored under the brutal yoke of Japanese occupation until the end of World War II.

Since coming to power in December, Abe has repeatedly made noises about altering Japan’s pacifist constitution, which bars the country from offensive action.

The defense ministry last month published a paper saying Japan needed amphibious units and surveillance drones to protect its outlying islands.

Japan’s moves come against a backdrop of increasing Chinese activity in waters far from its mainland coast.

The two countries have spent the last year involved in a dispute over the sovereignty of the Japanese-administered Senkaku islands in the East China Sea, which Beijing claims as the Diaoyus.

Vessels and planes from both sides have played cat and mouse in their seas, with some observers warning a slip from either nation could provoke a military confrontation, with possibly wide-ranging ramifications.

On Monday, Tokyo scrambled fighter jets after a Chinese government plane approached airspace Japan claims as it own.

(C) 2013 AFP

http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/japan-could-be-main-player-if-asia-conflicts-break-out-defense-minister

 

Japan to deploy ships after China detected drilling in disputed waters – report

Published time: July 18, 2013 16:50                                                                            

An aerial view shows a Chinese facility under construction (top R) for natural gas exploration and a large crane ship are seen near what Tokyo claims to be the median line between the overlapping exclusive economic zones of Japan and China, in the East China Sea, in this photo taken by Kyodo July 5, 2013. (Reuters/Kyodo)An aerial view shows a Chinese facility under construction (top R) for natural gas exploration and a large crane ship are seen near what Tokyo claims to be the median line between the overlapping exclusive economic zones of Japan and China, in the East China Sea, in this photo taken by Kyodo July 5, 2013. (Reuters/Kyodo)

Japan has allegedly ordered geological survey ships to prepare for possible deployment after the Chinese were reportedly detected drilling in Japanese waters near the disputed area of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, a source told Reuters.

The Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) has  been ordered to put both its survey ships , the Shigen and the  Hakurei, on standby and to prepare to deploy without any foreign  members of staff on board, according to the source .

Japan warned China not to expand gas exploration in the East  China Sea on Thursday, following a media report according to  which Chinese state-run oil companies plan to develop seven new  gas fields in the sea, possibly siphoning gas from the seabed  beneath waters claimed by Japan, Kyodo news agency reported.

“We will never accept development of gas fields in the area  over which there are conflicting claims in a unilateral  manner,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a  press conference. Though he added that officials are still  gathering information to confirm the report.

After in 1968 it was discovered that oil reserves might be found  under the sea near the territory of the islands in the East China  Sea, sovereignty over them has been long disputed by  Japan  and China.

Meanwhile, three Chinese maritime vessels were spotted entering  Japan’s territorial waters on Thursday morning, the Japanese  Coast Guard reported. Beijing said was a routine surveillance and  the ships later left the Japanese waters, but remain in the  contiguous area, the coast guard added.

This particular intrusion came the day after Prime Minister  Shinzo Abe paid a visit to Japan’s southern island of Ishigaki,  only 160 km away from the islets claimed by both China and Japan.

A Japan Coast Guard patrol ship sails around Uotsuri island, part of the disputed islands in the East China Sea, known as the Senkaku isles in Japan, Diaoyu islands in China (Reuters/Kyodo)A Japan Coast Guard patrol ship sails around Uotsuri island, part of the disputed islands in the East China Sea, known as the Senkaku isles in Japan, Diaoyu islands in China (Reuters/Kyodo)

 

During the visit, the Prime Minister repeated Tokyo’s stand that  the nearby disputed Senkaku Islands are Japanese  territory.  He added that Japan will not back off on  the issue of their sovereignty over the territory which China  calls the Diaoyu Islands claiming they were“stolen” from  the country at the end of the Sino-Japanese war in 1895.

It is rare for a prime minister to visit Ishigaki, and “it is  a strong message for China”, Japan’s Asahi Television said.

Abe’s statement followed a strong reaction in the Chinese media  which accused the Japanese Prime Minister on Thursday of  dangerous politics in the period of heightened relations between  the two countries.

The People’s Liberation Army Daily said Abe was trying to play  the “China threat” angle, to win votes in July 21 upper  house of parliament elections by paying the visit to the island.

“This kind of ‘drinking poison to slake ones thirst’ not only  threatens regional stability, it gives encouragement to Japan’s  ‘turn to the right’,” said the Daily.

The ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily warned that  China would never allow itself to be trampled on again, referring  to the 1931 Japan invasion and the establishment of a  Manchukuo  puppet state located in what is now  northeast China.

The newspaper claimed that the prime minister is “provoking  incidents” aimed to create tension to “push Japan’s  military development.”

Surveillance ships from both nations routinely monitor the  disputed area. The last time that Chinese ships were spotted  there was July 7.

In response to the island dispute and the growing nuclear threat  from the Korean Peninsula, Tokyo has raised its defense budget  for the first time in 11 years. Moreover, Abe wants to revise  Japan’s constitution drafted by the United States after World War  Two to allow for collective military action. If the Prime  Minister’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) obtains the majority of  votes it will be a step closer to pushing through the amendment.

http://rt.com/news/japan-china-disputed-islands-271/

 

Japan seeks to ‘nationalize’ islands

With an Upper House election looming this weekend, the Japanese cabinet plans to strengthen territorial claims on hundreds of remote islands in the East China Sea. -China

Daily/ANN  Tue, Jul 16, 2013    China Daily/Asia News Network

With an Upper House election looming this weekend, the Japanese cabinet plans to strengthen territorial claims on hundreds of remote islands in the East China Sea, observers said.

Tokyo will “nationalise” some islands that have no private owners shortly after a survey of islands is completed in 2014, leading Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun quoted an unnamed government source as saying on Monday.

The Japanese government plans to establish a task force to research the ownership and names of around 400 islands, a move described by Agence France-Presse as an attempt to bolster Japan’s territorial claims.

The latest move is designed to establish more reference points in territorial waters, and if the islands’ ownership is unclear, the government will officially name and nationalise them, the newspaper reported.

Wu Hui, an international law expert at the University of International Relations in Beijing, said if part of these islands falls into the scope of territorial disputes, other countries may lodge serious protests.

“Moreover, a unilateral move to nationalise islands will raise questions over the legitimacy of such a move.”

China-Japan relations were greatly damaged after Tokyo illegally nationalised part of China’s Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea in September.

As far as Tokyo is concerned, nationalizing controversial remote islands is part of legislative preparations for further claims, Wu said.

The island survey was announced shortly after the Japanese defence authorities indicated that they may “guard and retake” remote islands, analysts said.

The Japanese Defence Ministry is proposing “boosting the marine functions of the Self-Defence Forces” in its interim report for a planned revision of the country’s long-term defence policy, Japan’s Kyodo News Agency reported on Sunday.

The move underscores the importance attached by the ministry to strengthening the Self-Defence Forces’ ability to defend remote islands, Kyodo said.

Li Guoqiang, deputy director of the Center for Chinese Borderland History and Geography at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said, “Tokyo is now attempting greater control of maritime areas in order to give it an advantage in territorial disputes.

“Japan is seeking to be a political and military power with its moves on maritime disputes and its so-called measures to secure maritime interests,” Li said.

In mid-June, the Japanese armed forces participated in a joint military drill with the US Army, which involved the simulated retaking an airport occupied by an “enemy”.

These moves highlight Tokyo’s “desperation” to defend and retake remote islands at an early date, said major Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to visit Okinawa Prefecture in the southwest of the country on Tuesday.

The trip seems to demonstrate his determination to enhance the defence of remote islands amid the flaring up of tension with China, Japan’s Sankei Shimbun newspaper said.

“It is rare for a prime minister to visit remote islands during an election campaign,” Japan’s Jiji Press News Agency commented.

http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Asia/Story/A1Story20130716-437495.html

 

China refuses to confirm Okinawa Island belongs to Japanese

Bloomberg — May 09

 

China refused to confirm that Okinawa belongs to Japan after two Chinese scholars suggested re-examining the ownership of the archipelago that includes the island, adding to tensions over a separate territorial dispute.

 

Agreements between allied forces during World War II mean the ownership of the Ryukyu Islands may be in question, the researchers said in a commentary in the People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s main newspaper. Asked if China considers Okinawa part of Japan, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said scholars have long studied the history of the Ryukyus and Okinawa. “It may be time to revisit the unresolved historical issue of the Ryukyu Islands,” Zhang Haipeng and Li Guoqiang of the China Academy of Social Sciences wrote in the commentary.A move to reconsider ownership of the Ryukyus would add to strains as China and Japan assert their claims over a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea. The Japanese government’s decision last year to purchase those islands, called Diaoyu in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese, sparked protests across China and harmed a $340 billion annual trade relationship that has yet to recover.

Tensions were compounded last month after Japanese lawmakers visited a Tokyo shrine where war criminals are honored along with other war dead and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed to protect the East China Sea islands by force. The Ryukyu Islands are home to about 1.5 million people.

China should reconsider who owns Okinawa: People’s Daily – China may claim rights to Okinawa

Politics May. 08, 2013 – 05:00PM JST

BEIJING  —

China’s top newspaper on Wednesday published a call for a review of Japan’s sovereignty over the island of Okinawa—home to major U.S. bases—with the Asian powers already embroiled in a territorial row.

The lengthy article in the People’s Daily, China’s most-circulated newspaper and the mouthpiece of the ruling Communist party, argued that the country may have rights to the Ryukyu chain, which includes Okinawa.

The island is home to major U.S. air force and marine bases as well as 1.3 million people, who are considered more closely related to Japan in ethnic and linguistic terms than to China.

The authors of the article, two scholars at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, considered China’s top state-run think-tank, said the Ryukyus were a “vassal state” of China before Japan annexed the islands in the late 1800s.

“Unresolved problems relating to the Ryukyu Islands have reached the time for reconsideration,” wrote Zhang Haipeng and Li Guoqiang, citing post-World War II declarations that required Japan to return Chinese territory.

The article also repeated Chinese government arguments for China’s historical claims over a set of tiny uninhabited islets in the East China Sea known as Diaoyu in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese.

The two nations have stepped up a war of words over the dispute in recent months, with Beijing’s vessels regularly entering the waters around the Tokyo-controlled islands, stoking fears of armed conflict.

Questions over Japan’s right to Okinawa were probably aimed at raising the stakes in the East China Sea dispute, said Willy Lam, an expert on Chinese politics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

“I think this is psychological warfare,” he said, adding: “The major point is to put pressure on Japan so that the Japanese administration will be forced to make concessions over the Senkaku islands.”

Okinawa is the biggest of the Ryukyu islands, which stretch for about 1,000 kilometers from Japan’s mainland, and were the center of the Ryukyuan kingdom that paid tribute to Chinese emperors until it was absorbed by Japan in 1879.

But some Chinese see historical ties as a basis for sovereignty and dismiss Japan’s possession of the islands as a legacy of its aggressive expansionism that ended in defeat at the end of World War II.

China’s government does not make such claims, but state media have from time to time carried articles and commentaries questioning Japan’s authority.

China is also in dispute with southeast Asian neighbors over huge swathes of the South China Sea, which it claims based on a map published in the 1940s.

Analysts have said that Beijing is growing increasingly assertive in pressing its territorial claims, while nations across Asia have invested massively in upgrading their naval capacity.

© 2013 AFP

http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/china-should-reconsider-who-owns-okinawa-peoples-daily

China official clearly calls Senkaku core interest

Jiji Press — Apr 27

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying clarified at a regular press conference Friday that the Senkaku islands in the East China Sea are part of the country’s core interests concerning its territorial sovereignty.

It is the first time that a Chinese Foreign Ministry official has recognized in a public comment that the islands represents a core interest of China.China looks certain to further toughen its stance against Japan over the islands, which Beijing calls Diaoyu, now that they have been clearly cited as a core interest of the country by a senior Foreign Ministry official.

News source: Jiji Press

China, Japan tense over disputed islands : Eight Chinese government ships had entered waters near the contested islands

CNN — Apr 24

 

The fragile relationship between China and Japan came under fresh strain Tuesday as ships from both sides crowded into the waters around a disputed group of islands and nearly 170 Japanese lawmakers visited a controversial war memorial.

 

The Japanese Coast Guard said eight Chinese government ships had entered waters near the contested islands in the East China Sea on Tuesday morning, the largest number to do so at any one time since tensions surrounding the territorial dispute escalated last year.China said its ships were there to monitor the movements of Japanese vessels in the area after a Japanese nationalist group chartered a flotilla of fishing boats to take dozens of activists there.

The Japanese foreign ministry responded by summoning the Chinese ambassador in Tokyo to lodge a strong protest about the Chinese ships’ presence near the uninhabited islands that lie between Okinawa and Taiwan and are known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese.

A day earlier, Beijing had made its own protest to Tokyo about a visit at the weekend by three Japanese cabinet ministers to the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, which honors Japanese people killed while fighting for their country, including convicted war criminals.

Countries that suffered heavily at the hands of the Japanese military before and during World War II, such as China and South Korea, consider the shrine as an emblem of that aggressive period in Japanese history.

Tensions rise over Asian islands Why is Japan feuding over islands? Japan scrambles fighter jets But China’s representations failed to deter 168 Japanese members of parliament from visiting the shrine on Tuesday to pay their respects to the war dead, the most to do so in recent years.

去年9月の国有化以来、最も多い8隻が領海侵犯をしています。

Chinese ships track Japanese nationalist flotilla

canberratimes.com.au — Apr 23

 

Eight Chinese government ships have entered Japanese territorial waters near disputed islands, the most in a single day since Tokyo nationalised part of the archipelago, the Japanese government says.

 

A flotilla of boats carrying more than 80 Japanese nationalists had arrived in waters near the islands on Tuesday, risking further straining Tokyo’s already tense relations with its Asian neighbours. Japan’s coastguard confirmed the Chinese vessels had entered waters near the East China Sea island chain.The maritime surveillance ships entered the 12-nautical-mile zone off the Senkaku chain of islands, which China calls the Diaoyu, about 8am (9am AEST), the Japan Coast Guard said in a statement.

News source: canberratimes.com.au

Abe vows to expel by force any Chinese landing on disputed isles

National Apr. 23, 2013 – 01:20PM JST ( 3 )

Abe vows to expel by force any Chinese landing on disputed isles
A Chinese marine surveillance ship cruises near the disputed islets in the East China Sea.;AFP

TOKYO   —

Prime minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday vowed to “expel by force” any Chinese landing on disputed islands.

“We would take decisive action against any attempt to enter territorial waters and to land” on the islands, Abe told parliament in response to questions from lawmakers. “It would be natural for us to expel by force the Chinese if they were to make a landing.”

Abe made the remarks after eight Chinese government ships entered Japanese territorial waters near the islands on Tuesday, the most in a single day since Tokyo nationalised part of the archipelago, the Japanese government said.

Japan’s coast guard confirmed the vessels had entered waters near the East China Sea island chain, while the government’s top spokesman said the flotilla was a one-day record since Tokyo’s nationalisation in September.

Japan summoned the Chinese ambassador in protest.

The maritime surveillance ships entered the 12-nautical-mile zone off the Senkaku chain of islands, which China calls the Diaoyu, around 8 a.m., the Japan Coast Guard said in a statement.

State-owned Chinese ships have frequently spent time around the five disputed islands, also claimed by Taiwan, in recent months.

“It is extremely deplorable and unacceptable that Chinese government ships are repeatedly entering Japanese territorial waters. We have made a firm protest against China both in Beijing and Tokyo,” Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters.

© 2013 AFP

China calls on Japan to stop scrambling its fighters

National Apr. 19, 2013 – 06:40AM JST ( 40 )

BEIJING —

China called on Japan on Thursday to stop sending jets up against Chinese aircraft after Japan said it had scrambled its fighters twice as often in the past year amid a territorial dispute.

The number of scrambles against Chinese planes nearly doubled to 306 in the year that ended in March. That accounted for the increase in the overall number from 425 to 567, the highest level in 22 years, Japan’s Defense Ministry said.

China and Japan have been involved in an increasingly acrimonious stand-off over a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, called the Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.

“We all know that when it comes to the Diaoyu Islands issue Japan has been continuously taking provocative actions to raise tensions. This is the root cause of the present very tense situation over the islands,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing.

Japan, she said, should instead “show more sincerity and take practical steps to work hard with China to find a way to appropriately manage and resolve the problem through dialogue, talks and consultations. This would be best for both countries.”

The waters around the disputed islands are rich fishing grounds and have potentially huge oil and gas reserves.

The dispute has escalated in recent months to the point where China and Japan have scrambled fighter jets while patrol ships shadow each other, raising fear that an unintended collision could lead to a broader clash.

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2013

 

http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/china-calls-on-japan-to-reduce-jet-scrambles

Japan scrambled jets against China planes record 306 times in 12 months

National Apr. 18, 2013 – 08:15AM JST ( 29 )

TOKYO —

Japan scrambled fighter jets in response to Chinese aircraft a record number of times in the year to March 2013, mostly after the nationalisation of disputed islands, the government said Wednesday.

Jets were sent airborne 306 times over the 12 months, double the previous year and more than the number of times they reacted to Russian planes—247—for the first time on record, the Defense Ministry said in a press release.

In September last year, the Japanese government bought three of the five Senkaku islands in the East China Sea, known and claimed as the Diaoyus in China.

More than three-quarters of the mobilisations against Chinese aircraft, a total of 237, were in the October to March period.

On December 13, a Y-12 turbo-prop plane from China’s State Oceanic Administration breached airspace over the disputed islands, prompting the launch of Japanese F-15s.

It was the first known incursion ever by a Chinese plane into Japanese airspace, the government said at the time.

State-owned Chinese ships have sailed close to the disputed islands dozens of times since September, sometimes moving into 12-nautical-mile territorial waters around them.

In recent years Russian fighter patrols near islands that Moscow and Tokyo both claim have been the most common cause of Japanese airborne responses.

© 2013 AFP

U.S., Japan review plans for retaking disputed islands

National Mar. 21, 2013 – 06:05PM JST ( 52 )

U.S., Japan review plans for retaking disputed islands
Disputed islands claimed by China and controlled by JapanAFP

WASHINGTON  —

U.S. and Japanese officers are discussing worst-case contingency plans for retaking disputed islands in the East China Sea if China moves to seize them, U.S. officials say.

Japan’s Nikkei newspaper first reported the talks, which prompted a strong reaction from China.

“We have contingency plans and we discuss them with allies,” a U.S. official told AFP speaking on condition of anonymity, saying it was “natural” that the two governments would confer on emergency scenarios given recent tensions.

A Pentagon official, who also asked not to be quoted by name, confirmed the discussions, saying “we’re a planning organization.”

But both sources said the U.S. government did not want to fuel tensions, and that the contingency planning would be only one of many topics on the agenda when top US and Japanese officers meet in Hawaii on Thursday.

Admiral Samuel Locklear, head of the U.S. Pacific Command, is scheduled to host General Shigeru Iwasaki, chief of the Japanese Self Defense Forces Joint Staff, for Thursday’s talks.

Officially, the Pentagon would neither confirm nor deny whether the contingency plans were under discussion.

“As a matter of policy, we do not discuss our military planning efforts,” said Lt Col Catherine Wilkinson.

“The U.S. policy on the Senkaku Islands is long-standing. We encourage the claimants to resolve the issue through peaceful means,” she said, using the Japanese name for the islands.

The United States has made clear that its alliance with Tokyo applies to the islands, raising the possibility of US military action in support of Japan if China moves to seize them.

Beijing and Tokyo both claim the islands, which the Chinese call the Diaoyu.

The dispute has escalated in recent months, with Beijing repeatedly sending ships to waters around the islands to back up its claims. Tokyo has alleged that a Chinese frigate locked its radar on a Japanese destroyer in January.

In a faxed response to a query, China’s defense ministry said it had seen the Nikkei report and reiterated Beijing’s stance that the islands belong to China.

“The determination and will of Chinese military forces to safeguard China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are steadfast,” the ministry said.

“We firmly oppose any action that could further complicate and magnify the situation.”

China’s newly installed President Xi Jinping is vowing to fight for a “great renaissance of the Chinese nation.” Xi has close ties to China’s expanding military, and called for the armed forces to strengthen their ability to “win battles.”

Japan too has expressed a new strain of nationalistic rhetoric under its hawkish prime minister, Shinzo Abe, who has urged new graduates of the National Defense Academy to guard the country against “provocations.”

Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party pledged at its annual convention last Sunday to accelerate efforts to reform Japan’s pacifist postwar constitution and create a fully fledged military.

© 2013 AFP

 

http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/u-s-japan-review-plans-for-retaking-disputed-islands

Abe: China radar-lock on Japan ship ‘dangerous’

Politics Feb. 06, 2013 – 12:45PM JST

TOKYO —

The radar-lock that a Chinese frigate put on a Japanese warship was “dangerous” and “provocative,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Wednesday, as tensions in a territorial row ratcheted up.

“It was a dangerous act that could have led to an unpredictable situation,” Abe told the Diet. “It is extremely regrettable. We strongly ask for their self-restraint in order to avoid an unnecessary escalation.”

Abe, who took office late December following a landslide win in elections, described the radar-locking as “unilateral provocative action by the Chinese side.”

Abe’s comments come a day after Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera announced weapon-targeting radar had been directed at the Japanese vessel in international waters of the East China Sea last week.

“On Jan 30, something like fire-control radar was directed at a Japan Self-Defense Maritime escort ship in the East China Sea,” Onodera told reporters in Tokyo on Tuesday night. “The defense ministry today confirmed radar for targeting was used.”

Onodera said a Japanese military helicopter was also locked with a similar radar on Jan 19. He did not specify whether the helicopter was airborne or on the deck of a ship at the time.

Officials said on both occasions the targeting had lasted “minutes.”

“Directing such radar is very abnormal,” he said. “We recognize it could create a very dangerous situation if a single misstep occurred. We will seek the Chinese side’s self-restraint from taking such dangerous action.”

The move marks the first time the two nations’ navies have locked horns in a dispute that has some commentators warning about a possible armed conflict.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Washington was “concerned” over the incident.

“With regard to the reports of this particular lock-on incident, actions such as this escalate tensions and increase the risk of an incident or a miscalculation, and they could undermine peace, stability and economic growth in this vital region,” she said. Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told a news conference that Tokyo lodged a protest against Beijing over the radar-locking on Tuesday and asked for an explanation, but was yet to receive any reply.

Radar is used to precisely determine a target’s distance, direction, speed and altitude. Weapon systems linked to the radar can be fired immediately, Japan’s government said.

The move is a ratcheting-up of an already tense situation in the East China Sea, where Asia’s two largest economies are at loggerheads over the sovereignty of an uninhabited island chain.

On Tuesday, Tokyo summoned China’s envoy in protest at the presence a day earlier of Chinese government—but not military—ships in the waters around the Tokyo-controlled Senkakus, which Beijing claims as the Diaoyus.

© 2013 AFP

 

http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/abe-china-radar-lock-on-japan-ship-dangerous

Japan protests to China after a Japanese navy ship was targeted by guided missile radar

Japan protests to China after radar pointed at vessel

Reuters Tuesday, Feb 05, 2013

TOKYO – A Chinese vessel pointed a type of radar normally used to help guide missiles at a Japanese navy ship near disputed East China Sea islets, prompting the Japanese government to lodge a protest with China, Japanese public broadcaster NHK said on Tuesday.

The incident happened on Jan 30, the defence minister later said.

A long-simmering row over the islands, known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China, has in recent months escalated to the point where both have scrambled fighter jets while patrol ships shadow each other in nearby seas.

Concern that the increasing cat-and-mouse encounters between aircraft or ships will cause an accidental clash are giving impetus to efforts to dial down tension, including a possible leaders’ summit.

But while hopes have emerged of a thaw in the chill that began when Japan bought the islands from a private citizen last September, deep mistrust and pumped up nationalism complicated by bitter Chinese memories of Japan’s wartime aggression mean any rapprochement would likely be fragile.

 

http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Asia/Story/A1Story20130205-400339.html

China sends three Warships to disputed Islands

Wednesday, 30 January 2013
 Three Chinese government ships were sailing in  waters around islands disputed with Japan today, a day after the  Japanese premier suggested a summit could help mend frayed ties.

Japan’s coastguard said the maritime surveillance  boats were sailing in waters around a chain of Tokyo-controlled islands  known as the Senkakus in Japan for about an hour and a half, AFP  reported.

They all left the waters by 1:32 pm, coastguard officials said.

China, which calls the islands the Diaoyus, has  repeatedly sent ships to the area since Japan nationalised some of the  chain in September. The move triggered a diplomatic dispute and huge  anti-Japan demonstrations across China.

Beijing has also sent air patrols to the archipelago  in the East China Sea and recently both Beijing and Tokyo have scrambled fighter jets, though there have been no clashes.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe suggested a  summit with China would improve a relationship that has been badly  troubled for months.

“A high-level meeting should be held because there is a problem. If necessary, there might be a need to build the…  relationship again, starting with a summit meeting,” he told a  television show.

 

http://macedoniaonline.eu/content/view/22610/53/

 

U.S. stands by Japan on island dispute with China

Politics Jan. 19, 2013 – 03:20PM JST

U.S. stands by Japan on island dispute with China
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida speak in Washington on Friday.AFP

WASHINGTON   —

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued a veiled warning Friday to China not to challenge Japan’s control of disputed islands as Tokyo’s new government vowed not to aggravate tensions.

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida met with Clinton on the first trip by a top Japanese official since Japan’s conservatives returned to power last month.

Amid signs that China is testing control over virtually uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, Clinton said the area was under Japan’s administration and hence protected under a U.S. security treaty with Tokyo.

“We oppose any unilateral actions that would seek to undermine Japanese administration,” Clinton told a joint news conference with Kishida.

Clinton did not mention Beijing directly in the warning, but said: “We want to see China and Japan resolve this matter peacefully through dialogue.”

“We do not want to see any action taken by anyone that could raise tensions or result in miscalculation that would undermine the peace, security and economic growth in this region,” she said.

The United States insists it is neutral on the ultimate sovereignty of the islands—known as the Senkaku in Japanese and the Diaoyu in Chinese—but that they are under the de facto administration of Japan.

China has repeatedly criticized the U.S. position and sent maritime surveillance ships to the potentially gas-rich area, a move that experts see as a way to contest the notion that Japan holds effective control.

Abe has been known throughout his career as a hawk on national security. But Kishida took a measured tone on China while in Washington, describing the relationship with Beijing as “one of the most important” for Japan.

“While Japan will not concede and will uphold our fundamental positions that the Senkaku islands are an inherent territory of Japan, we intend to respond calmly so as not to provoke China,” Kishida said.

Kishida welcomed Clinton’s support, saying that the statement on the security treaty “will go against any unilateral action that would infringe upon the administration rights of Japan.”

U.S. officials and pundits have largely welcomed the return of the Liberal Democratic Party, believing that Abe’s firm positions and pledges to boost military spending will deter confrontational moves by Beijing.

However, Abe in the past has been known for controversial statements on Japan’s wartime history, leading to fears that a loose comment could set off new tensions in Asia.

Clinton said that U.S. officials “applaud the early steps” taken by Abe and hoped that new leaders in Japan and China would “get off to a good start.”

Separately, Clinton said that the United States and Japan wanted “strong action” at the U.N. Security Council on North Korea, which put a satellite into orbit last month in a launch the two allies fear could bolster Pyongyang’s missile capabilities.

Diplomats at the United Nations said the United States and China, North Korea’s main ally, had reached a compromise under which the Security Council would expand existing sanctions against Pyongyang.

The talks between Clinton and Kishida also focused on the hostage crisis in Algeria, with the two diplomats pressing the North African nation to release more information about a massive kidnapping at a desert gas field.

© 2013 AFP

http://www.japantoday.com/category/politics/view/clinton-stands-by-japan-on-island-dispute-with-china

 

Ministry may base F-15s near Miyakojima to counter Chinese intrusions faster

Kyodo

The Defense Ministry is thinking of stationing F-15 fighter jets at a remote airport halfway from Naha to Taiwan to speed up its response to airspace incursions by China near the disputed Senkaku Islands, government sources said Monday.

The planes would be stationed on Shimojijima Island, which is much closer to the Japan-administered Senkakus, which China claims as the Diaoyu, than to Okinawa’s prefectural capital Naha, where the Air Self-Defense Force’s F-15s are based.

But since Shimojijima Airport is not equipped for military use, the ministry would have to make several modifications before shifting the fighters over from Okinawa Island, the sources said. The island is right next to better known Miyakojima Island.

In mid-December, when a Chinese government plane entered Japanese airspace over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, the ASDF scrambled eight F-15 jets from the base in Naha. By the time they got near the disputed islands, however, the plane in question had left.

On Jan. 5, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told Defense Ministry officials to strengthen Japan’s border security measures.

Naha Air Base is about 420 km away from the Senkakus, which means it takes around 15 to 20 minutes for an F-15 to get there after an emergency takeoff.

Shimojijima Airport, which is administered by the Okinawa Prefectural Government, is about 190 km southeast of the Senkakus and has a 3,000-meter-long runway.

In 1971, a year before Okinawa’s reversion from the United States to Japan, the Japanese government and the then-government of the Ryukyu Islands concluded a memorandum of understanding stating that the airport would not be used for purposes other than civil aviation.

The central government also exchanged a confirmation note to that effect with then-Okinawa Gov. Junji Nishime.

Based on those documents, some government officials say it would be difficult for the SDF to use the airport. But in 2004, the central government fudged its stance in a written reply to questions posed in the Diet, saying “it is not that the use of (Shimojijima Airport) for pilot training and by aircraft other than commercial planes is not permitted.”

The Japanese and U.S. governments consider the airport a potential base for disaster relief for contingencies in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Japan Times:     Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013

China to survey islands disputed with Japan

Jan 15, 2013 11:17 Moscow Time

Острова Сенкаку в китайской картографии – Дяоюйдао

Photo: EPA

 

China is to carry out a geographical survey of islands in the East China Sea at the centre of a bitter dispute with Japan.

The survey of the Diaoyu islands was part of a programme to map China’s “territorial islands and reefs”, Xinhua said, citing a state geographical agency. They are known as the Senkaku in Japan, which controls them.

Voice of Russia, Xinhua, AFP

http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_01_15/China-to-survey-islands-disputed-with-Japan/