Washington does not want Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to bring up the issue of collective self-defense at the Japan-U.S. summit to be held later this month, diplomatic sources said.
The U.S. reaction comes as Abe hopes to bolster bilateral security ties by gaining President Barack Obama’s support for lifting Japan’s self-imposed ban on the right, which conflicts with Article 9 of the Constitution.
Washington has told Tokyo that if Obama openly welcomes Abe’s drive to allow Self-Defense Forces troops to engage in collective self-defense — the right to come to the defense of an ally under armed attack — it risks upsetting Beijing, which might interpret the gesture as an attempt by Japan and the U.S. to increase pressure on China, according to the sources.
U.S. officials also said during preparatory talks for the summit, set to be held Feb. 21 or 22, that heightening Sino-Japanese tensions with Washington’s close involvement could damage regional stability and harm the interests of Japan and the U.S., they said.
Read the rest of the story: U.S. to Abe: Collective self-defense off agenda.
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.
Japan has grounded its F-15 fighters for the second time in three months after a fuel tank and parts of a mock missile fell off a jet on a training mission, officials said Saturday.Japan Air Self-Defense Force officials said that the flight suspension involves all missions except emergency scrambles and will last until the safety of Japans 202 F-15 fighters has been confirmed.No one was injured in Fridays incident near Komatsu base in western Japan and the pilot landed safely. In July, Japans F-15s were grounded after one of the jets crashed into the East China Sea. Though presumed dead, the pilot of that jet is still listed as missing, and the cause of the accident has not been announced.
Read the rest of the story: Japan grounds F-15s after fuel tank falls off.