Japan, US conduct island defense drill near Diaoyu Islands

Source:Globaltimes.cn Published: 2012-8-21 15:43:00

       Latest  News    

Japan, US undertake island defense drill in W. Pacific

The Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun has reported that Japan and the US are undertaking a joint military exercise in the western Pacific, starting on August 21 and will run through September 26th.(Source: CNTV)
●The drill focuses on island defense. 40 of Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Force personnel take part in the exercise with US Marines stationed in Okinawa.

●Though Japan Ministry of Defense says the drill is not directed against any third country, it has brought a lot of attention at a very sensitive time for the region.

●Japan’s Nikkei Weekly says the Japanese government plans to use unmanned scout planes to conduct the mission of monitoring the Chinese navy in the area.

        View  Points

US stirs up maritime disputes with pivot to Asia
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has stated the US has a "national interest in freedom of navigation" in the South China Sea. But putting aside that there's no threat to US sea lane security, it is the US that is entering other countries' exclusive economic zones and threatening the security of other countries.
Washington tries to leverage island conflicts for 'balance'
The US is not a party to this dispute. The freedom of navigation to which the US attaches great attention touches on China's important national interest.
US should cease to stoke tensions over Diaoyu Islands
As tensions between China and Japanover the Diaoyu Islandshave been gravely heightened by Tokyo's egregious provocations, it is advisable that the United Statesnot fan the flame in the region.
Chinese media digest
The People's Daily opined Japan is trying to put pressure on China by connecting the Diaoyu Islands issue to the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan, while the US blurred its stance on the Sino-Japanese territorial dispute and expressed "concern" for Japan at times. The US and Japan both underestimated China's determination to maintain its territorial integrity and sovereignty.

In a process of peaceful development, China will not ignore hostile gestures from other nations and give up on its core interests or change its course of development.

CCTV military commentator Song Xiaojun said these joint exercises will have a very negative impact on East Asian countries and regions. Japan has deeply hurt many East Asian countries in the past, and now Japan's hard line conservatives are determined to confront China through the US’ new strategies in East Asia.

This caused public opinion in Japan to send a hurtful message to its neighbors, while a small number of right-wing activists push for actions that harm other countries' sovereignty and interests, Song said.

Special commentator Hong Lin of Global Watch in China commented the US wants to show its support of Japan through joint military exercises, which Japan's defense ministry officials can then say the US and Japan would cooperate in case war broke out over the Diaoyu Islands.

The US has been reorganizing troops stationed in Japan since the beginning of this year, a move Japan takes as a reassurance of US support.

   US Moves in E. Aisa

1.Japan, US conduct joint drills near Diaoyu Islands
Japan and the US have decided to intensify military and defense cooperation at a very sensitive time for the region. The decision was first reported on in the Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun. The news comes as relations between China and Japan have been severely strained due to the territory dispute over Diaoyu Islands.

2.S. Korea, US launch joint military drill
South Korean and US militaries have begun an annual joint exercise to test defenses against potential security threats.

3. Private deals between US, Japan concerning Diaoyu Islands "invalid": Chinese FM
According to Japan's Kyodo News Agency, a senior US State Department official said on July 9 that the Diaoyu Islands (referred to as the Senkaku Islands in Japan) fall within the scope of Article 5 of the US-Japan Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security, as the Senkaku Islands have been under the administrative control of the government of Japan since they were returned as part of the reversion of Okinawa in 1972.

4. US-Japanese strategies put region at risk
At the end of April, the US and Japan reached a new agreement on the joint use of the US military bases in the Pacific region. According to media reports, the Japanese Self-Defense Forces are expected to station forces alongside US troops in the Philippines. Once Manila approves, Japan, the US and the Philippines will conduct specific military training together in Philippine bases.

5. Japan’s tough Diaoyu position aimed at US
In December 2011, Japan and the US jointly held a military drill. Such military drills have been practiced for more than two decades, but this time the scale was unprecedented.

The reason was exactly the incident that happened in September. Japan and the US assumed that the waters near the Diaoyu Islands might be threatened by Chinese military forces, although in ordinary people's eyes a fishing boat barely represents a nation.

    Experts' Opinions
     for Diaoyu Puzzle

Prepare for long-term plan -- Liu Gang(professor at Okinawa University):

We do not need to get into a war with Japan, but should make preparations for a long-lasting conflict. We should force Japan to realize the necessity to sit down and talk to us.

We should also legalize the acts for protecting the islands. If the Japanese land on the islands, we could file a lawsuit against them.

Don't forget bigger picture -- Ma Zhengang(former ambassador to the UK and currently policy advisor for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs):

While society is easily stirred up by the dispute, the authorities should keep a cool head and look at the bigger picture. I respect the Hong Kong activists who landed on the islands despite high risks. But as a diplomat, I have to say they need more communication with the government, so as to best safeguard the islands.


'FIRM' principle needed -- Chen I-Hsin(professor of the Graduate Institute of the Americas, Tamkong University):

As a Taiwanese, I want to point out that both the Chinese mainland and Taiwan need to be guided by a principle of "FIRM" over the Diaoyu Islands issue.

Each aspect of the "FIRM" principle should be ensured if we want to effectively defend the Diaoyu Islands. Consistent actions are needed, although there won't be a result soon.


In-depth studies priority -- Li Jie(a researcher at the Naval Research Institute in the PLA navy):

The Diaoyu Islands issue is very complicated. It is easy to roar with anger, but we should take a long view.

Only through in-depth study of the Diaoyu Islands issue can we effectively resolve the problem.

More experts' opinions at a symposium on safeguarding the Diaoyu Islands held by the Global Times

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