Chinese Coastguards Patrol Diaoyus Regularly despite Japan’s Protest


Japan claims that it administeres the Diaoyus (known as Senkadus in Japan), but Chinese coastguards fleets patrol the waters of the islands regularly. Not only so, Chinese fishing fleets fish there and Chinese drill rigs operate there regularly. Who actually administer the islands?

SCMP reports Chinese coastguard fleets’ patrol and Japan’s protest in its report “Coastguard on the front line as Japan protests over Chinese incursions in East China Sea” yesterday. If SCMP publishes regular reports on such regular patrols and protests, its readers will be fed up by them. This time, however, SCMP’s report aims at telling its readers about US plan to send a coastguard boat to patrol the East and South China Seas.

What is the use of one coastguard ship? Can it drive away Chinese ones?

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be found at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2133215/coastguard-front-line-japan-protests-over-chinese.

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Another foreign company in trouble with China for geographical sins


Jeremy Goldkorn  January 31, 2018

The People’s Republic has always exerted tight control over maps and names of geographical features within its borders. I remember buying a map of Kashgar, Xinjiang in 1996 that had an inset showing the small city’s location in China; the inset was twice as big as it needed to be, in order to accommodate the Nine-Dash Line, the huge “cow’s tongue” of territory China claims in the South China Sea.

The Party’s absolute insistence on rectifying maps and place names is now spreading beyond its borders, starting with the softest of targets: foreign companies that do business in China or sell to Chinese consumers. In recent weeks, Marriott hotels, fast fashion retailer Zara, and a number of other companies have come under fire from the Chinese government for geographical sins, such as websites that list Taiwan as a country. Today, Asahi Shimbun reports that “Japan’s Muji retail chain was forced to pull a catalog in China that left the disputed Senkaku Islands off a map after receiving a complaint from Chinese authorities.”
•Currently under Japanese control, the Senkakus, or Diaoyu Islands 钓鱼岛 are claimed by China. They have become an emotional symbol for Chinese nationalists, including in Taiwan and Hong Kong, as well as right wing Japanese.
•The catalog was distributed in China by Muji stores, operated by Ryohin Keikaku of Tokyo, which said it “scrapped the catalog after receiving a directive from Chinese officials in October.”
•China’s foreign ministry told foreign companies to “respect China’s sovereignty” in response to the news about Muji, according to the Associated Press.
•“Tokyo has communicated its concerns to Beijing” over the order to pull the catalogues, says the South China Morning Post, quoting Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga: “There is no territorial dispute to be settled over the Senkaku Islands. We can by no means accept the measure based on China’s unilateral claims.”

Source: SubChina “Another foreign company in trouble with China for geographical sins”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Japan’s defense chief criticizes China over submarine near disputed islands


Reuters Staff January 15, 2018 / 3:03 PM / Updated 16 hours ago

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s defense minister criticized China on Monday for sailing an advanced stealthy nuclear submarine close to disputed islands claimed by Japan and China, saying the action had stoked tension.

The submarine, which Japan detected in the East China Sea, was a 110 meter-long Shang-class vessel, which is able to dive deeper and for longer than older boats and is armed with torpedoes and anti-ship missiles, according to Japan’s Ministry of Defence.
“Operating a submerged submarine close to another country’s territory goes against the norms of international rules,” Minister of Defence Itsunori Onodera told reporters.

While Chinese surface vessels often operate near Japanese islands on the edge of the East China Sea, the presence of a concealed submarine is viewed as a far more serious threat by Japan, which worries that China is flexing its military muscle in the waters that lead to the western Pacific as it consolidates control over the neighboring South China Sea.

The contested uninhabited islands in the East China Sea are known as the Senkaku in Japan, which controls them, and Diaoyu in China.

The Japanese criticism comes after Asia’s two biggest economies had pledged to improve ties.

Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, who last week protested against the presence of the submarine and other Chinese navy ships near the disputed islands, described the presence of three Chinese coastguard vessels in the waters on Monday as “regrettable”.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a regular news briefing that he was not aware of the details regarding the submarine, but that China would not accept Japan’s “representations” on the issue of the islands.

“The Diaoyu islands and associated islets are China’s sovereign territory,” he said.

Source: Reuters “Japan’s defense chief criticizes China over submarine near disputed islands”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


China’s Coast Guard Fleet Patrols Close around Disputed Islands with Japan


Mil.huanqiu.com says in its report on July 10 that China’s coast guard fleet consisting of Coast Guard Ships nos. 2307, 2502, 2166 and 2302 patrolled the territorial waters for two consecutive days from July 9 to 10.

Japan protested as usual but China repeated its reply as usual that the disputed Diaoyu Islands belong to China and China was conducting patrols of its own territorial waters.

Source: mil.huanqiu.com “China’s coast guard fleet patrols China’s territorial waters around the Diaoyu Islands for two consecutive days” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)


Japan protests to China over drone flight near disputed islets


Japan on Thursday lodged a protest with China after four Chinese coastguard vessels entered what Tokyo considers its territorial waters near disputed East China Sea islets and a drone-like object flew near one ship, the Japanese government said.

It was the first such flight near the islands witnessed by Japanese officials, although Thursday’s incident takes to 13 the number of intrusions this year by Chinese coastguard ships in the contested waters, Japan’s coastguard said.

Japan and China have long been at loggerheads over the tiny, uninhabited islands, called the Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. They are controlled by Japan but claimed also by China.

Kenji Kanasugi, director-general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, protested to the Chinese embassy in Tokyo by telephone.

“The Senkaku islands are Japan’s inherent territory and the entry into the territorial waters by the Chinese government ships is absolutely unacceptable,” a Japanese Foreign Ministry official said.

“On top of that, there appears to have been a flight of a drone. We lodged a stern protest against this unilateral escalation of the situation by China.”

The Chinese embassy responded to the Japanese protest by reiterating “China’s own stance” on the islands, the official added.

In a brief statement on its website, China’s State Oceanic Administration confirmed that four coast guard vessels had been patrolling by the islands, but made no mention of any drone.

China routinely rejects Japanese criticism of such patrols, saying its ships have every right to operate in what China calls its territorial waters.

(Reporting by Nobuhiro Kubo and Kiyoshi Takenaka; Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in Beijing; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Source: Reuters “Japan protests to China over drone flight near disputed islets”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Exclusive: Japan to speed up frigate build to reinforce East China Sea – sources


By Nobuhiro Kubo | TOKYO Fri Feb 17, 2017 | 6:25am EST

Japan plans to accelerate a warship building program to make two frigates a year to patrol the fringes of the East China Sea, where it disputes island ownership with China, three people with knowledge of the plan said.

Japan previously was building one 5,000-ton class destroyer a year, but will now make two 3,000-ton class ships a year, beginning from the April 2018 fiscal year, the people said, declining to be identified as they are not authorized to talk to the media.
It aims to produce a fleet of eight of the new class of smaller, cheaper vessels, which may also have mine-sweeping and anti-submarine capability.

Naval shipyard operators including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Japan Marine United Corp (JMU) and Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding are expected to bid for the work, the people said.

Japan and China dispute ownership of a group of islands in the East China Sea, about 220 km (140 miles) northeast of Taiwan. In Japan, they are known as the Senkakus, while China calls them the Diaoyu islands.

Senior Japanese military officials have said they are concerned that China may seek to increase its influence in the East China Sea around Japan’s southern Okinawa island chain. Japan provides military aid to Southeast Asian countries including the Philippines and Vietnam that oppose China’s territorial claims in the neighboring South China Sea.

BUILD-SHARING

In a departure from normal procurement practice, Japan’s Ministry of Defense said in a report published on Wednesday it will require the winner of the – eight frigate – contract to offer major portions of the build to other bidders.

The change is meant to ensure naval shipyards remain open.

In the past two years, JMU has won contracts to build the larger Aegis-equipped destroyers, raising some concern among defense ministry officials that rivals could shutter their shipyards, one of the sources said.

“We need to ensure our ability to build naval vessels at home,” the person said.

The new ships will cost 40-50 billion yen ($353-$443 million) each, another of the sources said.

(Reporting by Nobuhiro Kubo; Writing by Tim Kelly; Editing by Ian Geoghegan)

Source: Reuters “Exclusive: Japan to speed up frigate build to reinforce East China Sea – sources”

Note: This is Reuters report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


Will Trump Make Abe’s Japanese Dreams Come True?


What are Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Japanese dreams in the first place? American people have talked much about American dream while Chinese President Xi Jinping is requesting Chinese people to have the Chinese dream he cherishes, but we have never heard Abe talking about his Japanese dreams. However judging by what he has been making great efforts to achieve, we know what his Japanese dreams are.

Like Trump’s desire to make America great again, first, Abe wants to make Japan great again.

There have been lots of reports about his abenomics to revive Japan’s stagnant economy, for which he relies greatly on Obama’s TPP. That dream has been broken by Trump’s prompt withdrawal from TPP though Abe has visited Trump and personally tried hard to persuade him no to do so.

Even if Abe is able to reinvigorate Japanese economy, he still doubts whether Japan will be able to deal with a rising China that grows strong both economically and militarily quicker than Japan.

Therefore, whether Abe is able to revive Japan’s economy or not, he has a more important dream: He dreams that the US will defeat China and stop China’s growth.

That is why Abe has been trying hard to pit the US against China. He tried hard to provoke China to fight Japan so that the US will perform its treaty obligations to defend Japan and fight China.

He wants a war with China urgently to involve the US as he believes the US is strong enough now to defeat China. However, if China grows even stronger later, the US will not be able to defeat China.

The US says that its treaty with Japan covers the disputed Diaoyu (known as Senkaku in Japan) Islands and that the US will defend Japan’s administration of the islands.

China, however, sends coast guard ships to patrol the sea area around the Diaoyu including the area within 12 nautical miles that both Japan and China claim as their territorial waters.

Abe was very happy that if he sent Japanese navy to drive away Chinese coast guard ships from the disputed waters, China will respond with its navy so that there will be a naval war between China and Japan and thus involve the US.

That dream was first broken by the then US Vice President Joe Biden. Biden told Abe not to send navy as the US would not fight for a few rocks. Biden then visited Beijing and told his old friend Chinese President Xi Jinping to refrain from firing the first shot to begin a war.

Since Japanese government purchased the disputed islands, in order to claim China’s sovereignty to the islands, China has sent large fishing fleet to fish in the disputed waters and patrolled the disputed waters and airspace with its coast guard ships and warplanes. However, due to Joe Biden’s intervention, Japan has not been able to drive Chinese boats, ships and warplanes away to impose its exclusive administration of the disputed islands. It dare not do so as that will give rise to a war with China that the US does not want to be involved.

Does US new president Donald Trump want any change in the situation?

In its report “Mattis: US will defend Japanese islands claimed by China” on February 4, CNN quotes American new defense secretary James Mattis as saying in a press conference with his Japanese counterpart, “I made clear that our long-standing policy on the Senkaku Islands stands — the US will continue to recognize Japanese administration of the islands and as such Article 5 of the US-Japan Security Treaty applies.”

What is the use of continual recognition? The US simply remains the same in refusing to support Japan in driving away Chinese boats, ships and warplanes in the disputed waters and airspace. Perhaps, Mattis meant that the US would be involved if China takes the islands by force, but who will be so stupid as to incur huge costs in taking those barren rocks. What China contends for is the rich fishing and energy resources around those rocks. China is now fishing and exploring the energy resources there without being blocked by Japanese navy, even less by US navy.

The saddest thing for Abe is not Japan’s lost of its exclusive administration of the disputed islands, but the failure to pit the US against China so as to make the US defeat China and stop China’s rise. Abe is always afraid that a strong China may avenge the war crimes Japan has committed when it invaded China in the 1930s and 1940s.

That is Abe’s Japanese nightmare. He has the Japanese dream to have the US help him prevent such a nightmare from becoming reality.

Now Mattis’ promise of protection implies that Japan has to pay more for the protection to set a good example for other US allies. It gives Abe the signals that Japan has to make concessions in trade and currency to maintain good relations with the US for US protection.

US President Trump’s recent letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping for constructive ties with China seems the beginning of another nightmare for Abe. The US is now using its protection as a bargaining chip to have better access to Japanese market and competition edges in Chinese market.

How can Abe revive Japanese economy under such unfavorable circumstances?

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on CNN’s report, full text of which can be viewed at http://edition.cnn.com/2017/02/03/asia/us-defense-secretary-mattis-japan-visit/