Chinese Ships Entering Japan’s Waters will probably propel public support for constitutional revision and an inevitable Rearmament of Japan.
Last week a Chinese vessel was spotted in waters near the Japan-administered Senkaku Islands. And Yesterday the Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera confirmed it was a nuclear-powered attack submarine.
The Shang-class submarine spotted in the high seas with a Chinese flag was later detected on Thursday submerging near Japanese territorial waters off the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa. The Senkaku Islands, known as Diaoyu in China has been a major issue in China-Japan relations
Japan protested, warning China of unilaterally raising tensions;
“We are seriously concerned over acts that unilaterally raise tensions. We’ll keep our guard up to respond swiftly if a similar incident happens,” Onodera told reporters.
As if the submarine was not enough headache for the week, again on Monday, three China Coast Guard ships entered Japanese territorial waters off the Senkakus. The Japan Coast Guard reported that the Chinese ships Haijing 2303, Haijing 2308 and Haijing 2401 entered around 10:15 a.m. and left around 11:45 a.m.
At a news conference in Tokyo, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga criticized the intrusion saying
“We want to strongly urge China not to do anything to interfere with improving bilateral ties.”
Responding through an online statement, China’s defense ministry stated that a Chinese missile frigate was responding to two Japanese ships entering its claimed waters. Adding that China firmly opposes and is strongly dissatisfied with Japan’s actions, which had hyped up China’s actions and “mixed up right and wrong”.
The Bottom line
Chinese ships entering Japanese territorial waters has been on the rise since Japan nationalized the Senkaku islands from a private owner, however as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe push to amend the Japanese pacificist constitution, continued incursion of Chinese ships will only boost public support for Abe.