Minor encounters such as these [the planes incident] can explode into major problems between nations, and a clash of the Asian titans is far from unthinkable. And perhaps it’s no coincidence that this year marks the 120th anniversary of the conflict that started it all: the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895. That’s when a makeshift Japanese navy crushed China’s, allowing Imperial Japan to wrest land and a boatload of cash from China’s Qing Dynasty.Sponsored Ads
Strategists across East Asia are investigating that long-ago conflict for lessons relevant to today’s controversies. The first lesson is geopolitical: that limited conflicts can deliver sweeping gains. The 1894 Battle of Yalu — a minor duel between Chinese and Japanese battle fleets — gave Japan command of the Yellow and East China seas. The Treaty of Shimonoseki, signed in Japan in April 1895, compelled China’s rulers to relinquish Taiwan and its outlying islands, territory along the Asian coast, and to pay a massive indemnity to Japan. No longer could China oppose Japanese military movement up and down the Asian seaboard. With maritime command, then, came dominance of Northeast Asia.
China has shown that it may soon be ready to engage in conflict with Japan after warships of the People’s Liberation Army Navy were found aiming their fire-control radar at vessels and aircraft of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, reports China’s nationalistic Global Times tabloid, citing several Japanese media outlets.
US military sources told the Tokyo-based Nippon Hoso Kyokai on June 14 that Chinese fighters have followed and monitored the movement of Japanese aircraft at close range on a number of occasions. This began even before China established its controversial air defense identification zone in the East China Sea, the sources said, with the incidents taking place at open sea. The sources added that US aircraft are sometimes targeted by the PLA Air Force fighters as well.
Chinese fighter jets flew “abnormally close” to Japanese military surveillance planes in the East China Sea, the second incident in less than a month, Japan’s Ministry of Defense said.
Two Su-27 fighters came as near as 30 meters to one Japanese plane and 45 meters to another, according to Japan’s Self-Defense Forces. The incident happened over international waters between 11 a.m. and midday today, the ministry said on its website.
The close encounters follow a similar near miss on May 24 amid tensions between China and Japan over disputed territory. …
“Beijing sees that Japan’s China policy has seriously regressed and the ball is in Japan’s court,” said Liu Jiangyong, professor of international relations at Tsinghua University in Beijing. “The overall tension is likely to continue to linger and the two countries have reached a crossroads.”
Effectively, China and Japan have entered a cold war, as have China and the US.
What can be said with confidence is that American sanctions were not a significant cause of Japanese expansionism. The conflict between the United States and Japan arose out of profound disagreement about Japan’s imperialist objectives. Japan felt entitled to what the United States considered dangerous and deeply immoral.
Today, clear thinking about sanctions is essential to counter Moscow’s aggression and Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. One lesson to learn from U.S. sanctions on Japan is that sanctions are a tactical consideration, which may pale in comparison to ideology and strategic objectives as potential causes of war. Another lesson is that even those sanctions threatening an adversary’s key resources may have little deterrent or punitive value in the absence of potent, well-placed military forces.
I suspect that the sanctions were an excuse for war but not the reason. Japan was probably already at a tipping point concerning war with the US, and US sanctions pushed Japan over the edge. Without the sanctions war probably would have broken out anyway but perhaps at a different time.
If the more gloomy predictions becomes reality, eventually, China may go to war with Japan over the disputed Diaoyutai (Senkaku or Diaoyu) islands in the East China Sea or other Asian countries over disputes in the South China Sea under the influence of nationalism. For this reason, Lee said that it is better for the United States to continue its presence in the region. With the assistance of the United States, Lee believes that many parts of the gloomier future can actually be avoided, which will be the only way to maintain peace and prosperity in Asia.
What about 2 years instead of 20 years? The region is under threat of war right now.
Japan is to establish new military outposts on remote islands, a report said Monday, as Tokyo looks to bolster its defence amid a territorial dispute with China.
Up to 350 troops each could be stationed on three islands in the far southwest, close to the Senkakus, which Beijing claims as its own under the name Diaoyus, the mass-selling Yomiuri Shimbun reported.
With the exception of the main Okinawa island, Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Forces — its army — have no bases on the chain of islands that runs from the bottom of Kyushu to Taiwan. There are limited air force facilities in the area.
The Pentagon will deploy two long-range Global Hawk reconnaissance drones in Japan for operations to monitor Chinese naval activities and a possible fourth North Korean nuclear test, defense officials said.
The unarmed RQ-4 drones are among the Pentagon’s most high-profile military tools in the U.S. pivot to Asia, and will be used for intelligence-gathering in the region.
An Air Force spokeswoman said the two drones are being transferred for summer duty in Anderson Air Force Base in Guam, to Misawa Air Base in Japan and will begin flights this month. About 40 troops are deploying as part of the operations that will continue through October.
Citing threats from China and North Korea, a government-appointed panel is urging Japan to reinterpret its pacifist constitution to allow the use of military force to defend other countries.
The recommendation, submitted Thursday to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, sets the stage for his push to allow the military to play a greater role in international security.
Japan currently maintains a military only for its own defense, and has previously interpreted the war-renouncing Article 9 of its postwar constitution as meaning it cannot engage in what is known as collective self-defense.
If approved, the change could allow Japan to come to the defense of the United States or other countries, even if Japan itself is not under attack. Japan has gradually loosened the restrictions of Article 9 over the years to allow overseas deployments of troops in limited circumstances, but never to use their weapons to fight for others.
After addressing ambassadors from the 28 NATO nations, Abe drew a parallel between the situation in Ukraine, where Russia has occupied and annexed Crimea, and Asia, in an apparent allusion to a standoff between Beijing and Tokyo over tiny uninhabited islands in the East China Sea known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.
“We will not tolerate any change of status quo through intimidation or coercion or force. This is not only applicable to Europe or Ukraine. This is applicable to East Asia and it is applicable to the whole world,” Abe said at a joint press conference with Rasmussen.
Abe urged Russia and Ukraine’s political parties to recognize the legitimacy of Ukraine’s May 25 presidential election, which the West sees as crucial to help stabilize Ukraine after weeks of worsening violence that Western officials accuse Russia of helping to stir up.
A source from the Japanese defense ministry told the paper that the submarine along with a destroyer of the People’s Liberation Army Navy could eventually enter the Japanese exclusive economic zone or neighboring territorial waters in the same way the sea research vessel had. A Chinese nuclear-powered submarine was spotted for the first time in Japanese waters back in November 2004.
With a speed 1.3-times faster than the P-3C patrol plane, the P-1 designed domestically in Japan is the most suitable choice for anti-submarine warfare in the East China Sea, with a longer range than the P-3C purchased from the United States. When confronting Chinese warships, the P-1 is capable of attacking with air-to-surface missiles like the AGM-84 Harpoon, the ASM-1C, and the AGM-65 Maverick. Torpedoes, mines and depth charges are also carried by the aircraft to attack submarines.