Japan to Challenge China on Security

Discussion in 'Indo Pacific & East Asia' started by Galaxy, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. Galaxy

    Galaxy Elite Member Elite Member

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    Japan to Challenge China on Security


    NOVEMBER 19, 2011

    TOKYO—Japan's prime minister plans to present a subtle challenge to China at a weekend summit by pressing fellow Asian leaders to focus more on maritime security, a discussion opposed by an increasingly assertive Beijing.

    At the East Asia Summit in Indonesia that starts Saturday, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda will greet leaders from the Philippines, India and Vietnam—all countries that have signed new military pacts with Japan in recent months. Though he is unlikely to confront China directly, Mr. Noda's stance underscores his country's moves to expand security ties with neighbors in a region once highly suspicious of Japan's military role.

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    "We think that it is important for the participating countries to confirm the importance to abide by the international rules to ensure freedom of navigation, especially regarding international law of the sea," Noriyuki Shikata, a spokesman for Mr. Noda, said in an interview Thursday.

    While Mr. Shikata declined to say whether Japan's maritime focus was aimed specifically at China, Beijing has opposed having it on the agenda, after a year in which Japan and other nations have engaged in territorial disputes with Asia's largest nation.

    The summit follows a flurry of military diplomacy by Japan around the region, including a series of bilateral defense pacts.

    Earlier this month, Japanese Defense Minister Yasuo Ichikawa and his Indian counterpart agreed to conduct joint naval exercises for the first time in 2012. In a statement released by Japan's Defense Ministry, the sides said they "recognized the importance of sea lanes and decided to actively pursue consultations and cooperation in the field of maritime security." That expanded a security pact launched in 2008.

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    In October, Tokyo signed a memorandum of understanding with the visiting Vietnamese defense minister enhancing security cooperation between the two countries. The previous month, Prime Minister Noda announced a new "strategic partnership" with visiting Philippine President Benigno Aquino III to bolster dialogue between defense-related authorities. Kazuhisa Shimada, director of the defense policy division at the Ministry of Defense, said Tokyo and Manila could start small-scale joint naval exercises next year.

    "We have not necessarily worked hard enough on such areas until now," Mr. Shimada said in an interview earlier this month. "Given the current security environment, conducting such training exercises bilaterally or on a multilateral level is going to be very meaningful in the sense of promoting regional cooperative relations."

    Following decades of near-isolation under the American security umbrella, Japan had in recent years been gradually expanding its ties with neighbors, including many—such as Vietnam and the Philippines—that it invaded and occupied during World War II.

    Japan signed its first defense memorandum in Southeast Asia with Singapore in 2009. The moves appear to have accelerated after a September 2010 standoff with Beijing over the contested archipelago known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.

    "A lot of it frankly is because the Chinese have shaken the Japanese out of their complacency," said Michael Green, a Japan expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

    The archipelago dispute is similar to others in the South China Sea. The Philippines and China both lay claim to the Spratly Islands, an island chain in the South China Sea that geologists say may lie atop significant oil and gas deposits. Vietnam, which also claims part of the Spratly chain, has likewise complained of China's increasingly assertive approach in the region.

    "I think that as Japan has consulted with various countries like the Philippines, Vietnam and India and so forth they're all finding out that they're all on the receiving end of a Chinese strategy which aims at pushing China's maritime sphere outward," said Mr. Green. "That has spurred them towards a more strategic cooperation."

    The spreading defense alliances also follow the drafting of Japan's national defense guidelines approved last December, which said Tokyo would pursue "more active utilization of Japan's diplomatic and defense capability." It also was the first time the guidelines, last revised in 2004, raised the notion of fostering ties with neighboring countries.

    Japanese officials stress that they envision their role in smoothing regional disputes as mainly diplomatic, not military. Issues like "safety of the sea lanes and freedom of navigation in the region" are "a matter of concern for all of us and this needs to be made quite clear," Kimihiro Ishikane, deputy director-general of the Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs, said in an interview.

    Japan Prime Minister Noda's Defense Stance to Pose Challenge to China - WSJ.com
     
    Zebra, LETHALFORCE, SHASH2K2 and 2 others like this.
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  3. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    It's time now for Japan to show some long lost teeth. The JAICA diplomacy is wanting.
     
    sesha_maruthi27 likes this.
  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    It will make China uncomfortable.
     
  5. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    China tried to bite more than its chew and was foolish enough to open its cards much before it was ready to take on the whole world. when Viets and philipinos are able to give a tough fight to them I wonder how tough Japanese would be.
     
    LETHALFORCE likes this.
  6. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    This was expected with Chinese propping up North Korea against South Korea and Japan and making grand territorial claims on others territory and waters. Japan maybe a non -nuclear country but they are under USA's nuclear umbrella and will have access to USA's nukes if the time comes to use them.
     
  7. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    I still can't fathom as to why China suddenly went ballistics when everything was a pink cloud going for them!
     
  8. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    ^^ Communist brain.... it is usually so full of self-comorting egoistic propaganda-garbage that usually they start to actually believe whatever propaganda they repeat over and over. These fools will start an all-Asia war if they continue on the same path.
     
  9. satish007

    satish007 Senior Member Senior Member

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    All countries's behind is Uncle Sam, Who care Japs?
     
  10. no smoking

    no smoking Senior Member Senior Member

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    Without US, Japan is a joke. So, we should say: US is showing its teeth.
     
  11. asianobserve

    asianobserve Elite Member Elite Member

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    No man it's Japan. Japan has never been this concerned or busy militarily since WW2. Its recent bilateral security arrangements much less with India is unprecendented. You should read Japanese post-war history. It seems China has waken up the long asleep Asian tiger.
     
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