East China Sea Disputed Islets: “An Issue in the Looming on Japan and China Relations

November 28, 2015
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Tensions may arise between Japan and China in the East China Sea
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Japan’s Defense Ministry publicly pronounced its apprehensions on the activity of a Chinese surveillance ship cruising near the disputed islets in the East China Sea in early November this year.

According to Japanese officials, the passage of China’s naval spy ship near Senkaku Islands, which is controlled by Japan, is sending potential signals for issues that may arise anytime soon. China is claiming these islets and is calling it at Diaoyu.

This Chinese activity in the East China Sea is a step of Beijing’s repositioning over this disputed waters, and can be linked to China’s “self declared air defense identification zone or ADIZ.

The Chinese spy vessel “Dongdiao” with pennant no 855 was seen by the Japanese P-3C reconnaissance plane on the evening of November 11. Although, Chinese maritime police activities in this body of water are commonly seen, but this is the first time that the army vessel of the People’s Liberation Army sailed in the area.

Japan was surprise of the spy vessel’s peculiar sailing route as the ship evaded and left the area when called. The spy ship route charted one-and-a half laps through the waters from east to west before it went away going west.

According to reports from top level officials, the Chinese spy vessel “Dongdiao” charted a path on the boundary of China’s East China Sea ADIZ. Beijing declared the waters and islands as part of the ADIZ in 2013, encroaching into Japan’s territory. This zone as categorized is intended to give a hint to planes passing by the airspace either as an ally or an enemy of China.

This activity of China in the East China Sea is an indication of showing its force in the area. On the opposite end, this calls for the Japanese defense to be tightened as well. Japanese officials declared that “if Chinese warships frequent the disputed area, Japan will pull the other end of the string by stepping up its patrols, opening a window of unintentional clash between the two countries over its overlapping claims of the disputed islets.

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