In an unusually vigorous rebuttal to Japan’s latest accusations that China is using aggressive tactics to expand its maritime reach, the Chinese Defense Ministry said Japan was undermining stability in the region with its claims to disputed islands known as the Diaoyu in China and the Senkakus in Japan.
The Defense Ministry, which issued its statement on Friday, rarely mentions another country by name, Chinese experts said.
The Chinese military is “strongly discontented and resolutely against” the accusations in a Japanese white paper, an annual assessment of the country’s military situation, a spokesman for China’s Defense Ministry, Geng Yansheng, said in a statement.
Read the rest of the story: Japan and China Trade Sharp Words Over Islands.
The government will not disclose its evidence of China’s recent locking of weapons-targeting radar on a Japanese warship because doing so would tip its hand on intelligence operations, official sources said Monday.
The Liberal Democratic Party-led government had considered disclosure after Beijing denied Japan’s accusations that a Chinese frigate aimed its weapons radar at a Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer on Jan. 30 near the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea at the heart of a bilateral dispute.
Disclosure poses “great risk in terms of defense as it would mean that Chinese military authorities would be looking at the MSDF’s secrets concerning information-gathering operations,” a senior Defense Ministry official said.
A government source also said such disclosure would “difficult” as the evidence data touch on the “subtleties” of Japanese security.
Read the rest of the story: Japan not to disclose evidence of China radar target-lock on MSDF assets.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged China on Wednesday not to stoke tension over disputed East China Sea isles, a day after Japan said a Chinese vessel directed radar normally used to aim weapons at a target at a Japanese navy ship.
A Chinese government spokeswoman said she was not aware of the details of the incident, and focused instead on China’s stance that Japan should stop sending its ships into what China considers its territorial waters around the islands.
“The incident is a dangerous conduct that could have led to an unforeseeable situation. It is extremely regrettable that China carried out such a one-sided, provocative act when signs are emerging for dialogue,” Abe told parliament.
“I ask the Chinese side to return to the spirit of mutually beneficial, strategic relations and prevent the recurrence of an incident like this. I strongly ask them for restraints so that the situation will not escalate further.”
Read the rest of the story: Japan PM urges Chinese restraint after radar lock-on.
The United States has warned China about staking claim to the Japan owned Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, saying that it will oppose any unilateral action in this regard.
The warning came in light of the continued violation of Japan’s airspace and waters around the uninhabited islets by Chinese planes and ships.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in a meeting with Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, said Washington is obligated to defend the Senkaku islet group if it comes under attack under the bilateral security treaty between the US and Japan, the Japan Times reports.
Clinton added that the US has acknowledged Japan’s legal ownership of the Senkakus, although U.S. does not take a position on the ultimate sovereignty of the islands. Clinton also urged Tokyo and Beijing to resolve the dispute peacefully.
Japan purchased three of the main Senkaku islets in 2011, whose sovereignty is contested by both China and Taiwan.
Insisting that the Senkakus are an integral part of Japan’s territory, Kishida said his government would not compromise on its long-standing position that no dispute exists over their sovereignty.
Kishida, however, hoped for reduced tensions and increased stability between China and Japan, after Clinton’s statement.
Japan says it may fire warning shots and take other measures to keep foreign aircraft from violating its airspace in the latest verbal blast between Tokyo and Beijing that raises concerns that a dispute over hotly contested islands could spin out of control.
Japanese officials made the comments after Chinese fighters tailed its warplanes near the islands recently. The incident is believed to be the first scrambling of Chinese fighters since the tensions began to rise last spring.
According to Chinese media, a pair of J-10 fighters was scrambled after Japanese F-15s began tailing a Chinese surveillance plane near the disputed islands in the East China Sea. China has complained the surveillance flight did not violate Japanese airspace and the F-15s were harassing it.
Read the rest of the story: Japan Talk of Warning Shots Heats up China Dispute.
Japan’s hawkish new prime minister took aim at Beijing again Friday, accusing China of deliberately allowing Japanese businesses to suffer in the corrosive row over disputed islands.
The salvo is the latest from nationalist Shinzo Abe since he swept to victory in elections last month and came as he announced a spending splurge, including on military hardware.
It also follows reports that policymakers want next year’s defence budget in Japan to rise for the first time in more than a decade, as Asia’s two biggest economies continue to face off over the East China Sea.
“For political ends, harming Japanese companies and individuals in China that contribute to the Chinese economy and society — I want to say it is wrong for a responsible nation state in the international community,” Abe told a press conference in Tokyo.
“It not only harms bilateral relations, it has a significantly negative influence on China’s economy and its society.”
Read the rest of the story: Japan PM fires fresh broadside at China in row.
Japan scrambled fighter jets on Thursday to head off a number of Chinese military planes near islands at the centre of a territorial dispute, Japanese media said.
The Chinese planes were spotted on Japanese military radar north of the Japanese-controlled Senkaku islands, known as Diaoyu in China, the Fuji TV network reported, quoting Japanese government officials.
They did not violate territorial airspace over the islands but flew inside Japan’s so-called air defence identification zone, the report said.
The Japanese defence ministry press office did not confirm the report.
The Chinese planes were gone when F-15 jet fighters from an airbase on Japan’s main Okinawan island reached the area, the report said, adding the Chinese flights continued until about 5:00 pm (0800 GMT).
Chinese government ships and planes have been seen off the disputed islands numerous times since Japan nationalised them in September, sometimes within the 12 nautical-mile territorial zone.
Japan dispatched fighter jets last month after a Chinese state-owned plane breached airspace over the islands.
Nearly two-thirds of Chinese people boycotted Japanese products amid the Senkaku islands with Japan, a new poll has found.
The Kyodo news online survey found that almost all Chinese said that anti-Japan sentiment has intensified in the world’s second-largest economy since the government purchased three the Senkaku islands in September.
According to the Japan Times, the findings also highlighted a disparity in the way Chinese and Japanese view each another, with roughly one-third of the Chinese respondents feeling they can still trust Japan despite the Senkakus territorial row, while only five percent of the Japanese polled gave a similar answer.
Read the rest of the story: Two-thirds of Chinese boycotted Japanese goods over Senkaku Islands dispute.
Japan scrambled fighter jets today to head off a Chinese state-owned plane that flew near islands at the centre of a dispute between Tokyo and Beijing, a Japanese Defence Ministry spokesman said.
The Japanese jets were mobilised after a Chinese maritime aircraft ventured some 120 km north of the Senkaku islands, which China calls the Diaoyus, at around 12:00 pm (0830 IST), the spokesman said.
The Chinese Y-12 twin-turboprop later left the zone without entering Japanese airspace over the islands, he added.
It is the first time Japanese fighter jets have been scrambled this year to counter Chinese aircraft approaching the islands, the spokesman said.
Japan dispatched fighter jets last month after a Chinese state-owned plane breached airspace over the islands, while Chinese government ships have moved in and out of waters there for the past few months.
The confrontations have become commonplace since Japan nationalised the East China Sea islands in September, a move it insisted amounted to nothing more than a change of ownership of what was already Japanese territory.
But Beijing reacted with fury, with observers saying riots that erupted across China in the weeks following had at least tacit Government backing.
After years of watching its international influence eroded by a slow-motion economic decline, the pacifist nation of Japan is trying to raise its profile in a new way, offering military aid for the first time in decades and displaying its own armed forces in an effort to build regional alliances and shore up other countries’ defenses to counter a rising China.
Already this year, Japan crossed a little-noted threshold by providing its first military aid abroad since the end of World War II, approving a $2 million package for its military engineers to train troops in Cambodia and East Timor in disaster relief and skills like road building. Japanese warships have not only conducted joint exercises with a growing number of military forces in the Pacific and Asia, but they have also begun making regular port visits to countries long fearful of a resurgence of Japan’s military.
And after stepping up civilian aid programs to train and equip the coast guards of other nations, Japanese defense officials and analysts say, Japan could soon reach another milestone: beginning sales in the region of military hardware like seaplanes, and perhaps eventually the stealthy diesel-powered submarines considered well suited to the shallow waters where China is making increasingly assertive territorial claims.
Read the rest of the story: Japan Expands Its Regional Military Role.