"China’s faux “white hulls” amount to a symbolic shot across the bow of Japanese forces, said Jeffrey Hornung, a fellow at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation."
"'China is probing, in part, to provoke a Japanese overreaction,” Yoshihara said. “Such an overreaction would allow China to depict Japan as the aggressor and would in turn give Beijing some diplomatic cover to counter-escalate to achieve its operational aims in the East China Sea.'"
"In addition to being a listening post, the facility could be used a base for military operations in the region, he added."
"Over the next five years, Japan will increase its Self Defence Force in the East China Sea by about a fifth to almost 10,000 personnel, including missile batteries that will help Japan draw a defensive curtain along the island chain.Chinese ships sailing from their eastern seaboard must pass through this barrier to reach the Western Pacific, access to which Beijing needs both as a supply line to the rest of the world's oceans and for naval power projection."
"The Defense Ministry and the Self-Defense Forces have decided that Japanese P-3C patrol aircraft returning home from anti-piracy activities off the coast of Somalia will give priority to stopping along the way at bases of countries facing the South China Sea, including the Philippines and Vietnam, according to sources."
"Okinotorishima is dying. Climate change is raising the sea level and killing the coral...Japan is therefore on a desperate quest to regrow the reef. "
"Okinotorishima sits on the route Chinese nuclear submarines would take out into the Pacific, towards patrolling positions against the US"
"In their talks in Singapore, held on the fringes of the annual Asia Security Summit conference, also known as the Shangri-La Dialogue, Nakatani explained the security bills that the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is pushing to pass and the revisions to the Japan-U.S. defense cooperation guidelines, Foreign Ministry officials said."
"About 58.1 percent of South Koreans view Japan as a military threat, up from 46.3 percent the previous year, now that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is moving to beef up postwar security policy, a survey said Friday.
The joint survey, conducted by Japanese civic group Genron NPO and South Korean think tank East Asia Institute from April to May, drew responses from around 1,000 people in each country and found that only 11.2 percent of Japanese respondents view South Korea as a military threat."
"The two security bills, which were adopted by Abe’s cabinet on the 14th, are intended to expand the scope of the SDF’s activities overseas and broaden the areas in which they can operate. The bills are named the kokusai heiwa shien hoan (international peace support bill) and the heiwa anzen hosei seibi hoan (peace and security legislation development bill). The former bill is to amend ten security-related laws to remove the geographical constraint of a current law on contingencies in “areas adjacent to Japan” that was enacted in 1999 in the event of an emergency on the Korean Peninsula. One of the noteworthy laws, for example, is to enable Japan to exercise the right to collective self-defense, or coming to the aid of a friendly nation under attack."
"The latter bill is to establish a permanent law that allows the government to send the SDF overseas to provide logistics support to a foreign military in armed combat and to replace the current temporary laws that must be enacted each time the SDF is dispatched on support missions in multinational operations."
"The two security bills still require the approval of the current Diet session to take effect, which is expected to undergo a heated debate... if passed...Japan would substantially shift away from its postwar defensive posture..."
By Van Jackson.
"But while U.S. extended deterrence commitments to Japan and South Korea are the ultimate promise, it is a promise for the least-likely situation. And meanwhile, whether because of political expediency or the low stakes involved, the United States has played a marginal role in dealing with the smaller threats these two countries face: for Japan, Chinese harassment in waters around contested islands in the East China Sea; and for South Korea, conventional attacks by North Korea. The result? By failing to adequately tackle small-scale challenges with or on behalf of Tokyo and Seoul, the United States has cast doubt about its nuclear umbrella for those two countries.
This in turn reflects an unstated paradox: the strongest form of U.S. commitment doesn't address the much weaker quotidian challenges actually facing its allies."
"Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister, will this week push ahead with plans to loosen rules governing the military, even as analysts warn this could squander political capital needed to pursue tough economic reforms. "
"'This could well lead to a 10 percentage point fall in the approval rating for the Abe cabinet,'” said Takao Toshikawa, editor of the political newsletter Tokyo Insideline."
[Pew Research Center Survey] Americans, Japanese: Mutual Respect 70 Years After the End of WWII. 04/07/15
"Neither Trusts China, Differ on Japan’s Security Role in Asia."
An archive of news and resources on East Asian security. Rather than adhering to a particular political agenda, this archive aims to bring together diverse and insightful resources found while conducting research.