Japan vowed to defend the Senkaku/Diaoyu island group as part of its territory, with all necessary resources against the “threat from China”.
Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi on September 15 affirmed that the Senkaku island group (known as the Diaoyu in China) in the East China Sea “is the territory of Japan” and Tokyo will protect the island group like defending its territory against any enemy. any threat from China by the same number of ships or more if necessary.
“In view of China’s actions around the Senkaku Islands and other areas in the East China Sea, we must demonstrate that the Japanese government is resolute in defending its territory with the number of coast guard ships overwhelming its coast guard ships. them,” said Minister Kishi. “There is no territorial dispute related to the Senkaku group of islands between Japan and other countries.”
Japan is increasing the size of the Self-Defense Forces (JSDF), adding F-35 fighters, building more destroyers and submarines, and building more missiles. However, Minister Kishi said that Japan’s defense budget still does not match China’s growing military spending.
Senkaku/Diaoyu is a group of uninhabited islands located about 1,900 km from Tokyo and about 600 km from Shanghai, currently controlled by Japan. Tensions between Japan and China over sovereignty over the island group have simmered for years. Tensions peaked in 2012 when Japan nationalized the island group, causing many protests to break out in China.
China has repeatedly raised its claims to the Senkaku/Diaoyu island group, saying that its official ship “has the right to conduct patrol and law enforcement activities in this sea”.
Japanese officials said Chinese coast guard ships entered the 12-nautical-mile waters around the island group a total of 88 times in the first eight months of this year. China’s official ships have entered the contiguous zone 851 times so far.
In the dispute over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, Japan has an important ally, the United States, as the two countries maintain a mutual defense treaty. Under the treaty, the United States is obligated to defend Japanese territory if attacked.
US President Joe Biden in January reaffirmed his commitment to defend Japan. A White House statement then specifically mentioned the Senkau/Diaoyu island group in the security commitment between the two countries.
“We will continue to hold bilateral exercises with the US and multilateral activities with other partners to strengthen the posture and contribute to peace and stability in the region,” Minister Kishi said.
Nguyen Tien (Follow CNN)