Japan is marking a “red line” around the Senkaku islands, which China also claims, US CNN TV reported after an interview with Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi. According to the station, “Tokyo is countering Beijing’s increasingly aggressive stance, paving the way for a potential game between the two largest powers in the region.”
Japan’s Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said in an interview with CNN on Thursday that Tokyo will take decisive steps against China over the disputed Senkaku (Chinese: Diaoyu) islands in the East China Sea and respond to Beijing’s aggressive military provocations
He added that the islands are indisputably Japanese territory and will be defended as such.
The territorial conflict over the islands in the East China Sea is one of the points of contention in the difficult Sino-Japanese relationship, still overshadowed by the history of Japanese aggression against China and atrocities committed by the Japanese army during World War II.
Confrontation of the biggest powers in the region
Last year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China issued a statement in which it stated that “the Diaoyu Islands are an inherent part of Chinese territory” and that the inalienable right of Chinese forces is “to patrol and implement laws in these waters.”
Also last year, China gave Japan a protest against the resolution of the Japanese city of Ishigaki on the disputed Senkaku islands that decided to rename the administrative area containing the disputed islands. From October 1, the name will change from Tonoshiro to Tonoshiro Senkaku.
In addition, Beijing “backs its claims with warships and the introduction of new regulations that give its coastguard an extended mandate,” explains CNN. This could lead to a confrontation between the region’s greatest powers, he comments.
The Tokyo government has repeatedly protested against the presence of Chinese ships near the Japanese-controlled archipelago. Chinese coast guard ships entered Japan’s waters 88 times from early January to late August.
The Japanese authorities consider the actions of Chinese vessels to be a violation of its territorial waters. In addition to China and Japan, the disputed islands are also claimed by Taiwan, which considers itself independent of the PRC.
A wave of anti-Japanese protests
Meanwhile, experts estimate that China’s strategy towards Senkaku is to move its armed forces towards disputed territories and announce the introduction of Chinese jurisdiction and power there by fait accompli, CNN writes.
“Such moves pose a threat to an integral part of Japan’s sovereign territory,” said Kishi.
Another problem in relations with China is the status of Taiwan. Beijing is stepping up military pressure on him, and Chinese President Xi Jinping said Taiwan must come under Chinese control, even if it requires the use of force.
“The stabilization of the situation around Taiwan is very important to Japan’s security,” Kishi said. – 90 percent the energy that Japan uses is imported through the territories around Taiwan – he explained.
Tokyo is deploying troops and missiles on the island of Yonaguni, near Taiwan, and plans to strengthen the defense of other islands, CNN reports.
In 2012, the government in Tokyo purchased part of Sankaku from private hands, sparking a wave of anti-Japanese protests in China. In some cities, an enraged mob was destroying Japanese cars, restaurants, shops and factories. There were also acts of violence against random people.
CNN recalls that Tokyo and Washington are bound by a defense treaty, and shortly after taking office, President Joe Biden announced in an official announcement that the United States felt fully committed to guaranteeing the security of Japan, including the Senkaku Islands.
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