East China Sea
The PLAN's Annual Miyakojima Run, 2011

The PLAN’s Annual Miyakojima Run, 2011

For the second time in two years, a PLAN task force of more than ten ships passed through the Miyako Strait en route to the Pacific. On June 8-9 eleven PLAN ships passed in international waters between the Japanese islands of Miyakojima and Okinawa. The ships passed through the strait again Thursday, on their way...

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NHK: ASDF jet scrambling at 15-year high in FY2010

NHK: ASDF jet scrambling at 15-year high in FY2010

Last year was a busy year for Japan’s fly-boys, the ASDF, according to NHK today: The Defense Ministry said the Air Self-Defense Force conducted 386 emergency take-offs in the fiscal year that ended in March. That’s an increase of 87 from the previous fiscal year. Air Self-Defense Force jets were scrambled 264 times to ward...

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China rocks the boat

China rocks the boat

It was a disturbing week for China-watchers. March 2nd saw the Chinese causing trouble with their neighbours: two Y-8 planes headed to the Senkaku islands causing the Japanese ASDF to scramble into action, illegal fishing inside Korean waters, and the harassment of Philippine vessels near the Spratly Islands. Add the other concerning news that there...

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ASDF scrambles to intercept Chinese planes in East China Sea

ASDF scrambles to intercept Chinese planes in East China Sea

At noon on March 2nd, two Chinese Y-8 naval airplanes were detected 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of the Senkaku islands, the closest ever approach by Chinese airplanes to the islands, according to the Ministry of Defense’s Joint Staff Office. The Air Self-Defense Force scrambled F-15J fighters to intercept the two Chinese planes, an “intelligence...

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Mike Mochizuki on Sino-Japanese relations and the Senkaku incident

Mike Mochizuki on Sino-Japanese relations and the Senkaku incident

Another interesting read this morning was The Oriental Economist’s Richard Katz’s interview with Mike Mochizuki, a leading academic on Japanese politics and foreign policy. Asia Policy Point, for whom Mochizuki is a board member, reprinted the interview online for all to see. Katz:Is this incident a turning point in the “threat perception” of China by...

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CRS on US-Japan Alliance

CRS on US-Japan Alliance

A Congressional Research Service report on the the US-Japan Alliance (released January 18th, 2011) has been the topic of a number of news articles in the English-language Japanese press reprinting a single Kyodo News release focusing on the report’s view that Article 9 is an ‘obstacle’ to greater cooperation, i.e. in Mainichi. The release made it...

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News on all fronts for Japan’s territorial disputes (Jan 30 2011)

News on all fronts for Japan’s territorial disputes (Jan 30 2011)

Senkaku Islands and Takeshima Shu Watanabe, a DPJ member of the Upper House – and owner of what has to be one of the worst politician’s site in the modern day, will become the party’s first lawmaker to celebrate ‘Takeshima Day’, a festival designed to emphasize Japan’s claim over the Liancourt Rocks – Takeshima to...

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China to establish permanent patrols near Senkakus

China to establish permanent patrols near Senkakus

    The People’s Republic of China intends to establish permanent patrols by fisheries protection vessels in the vicinity of the Senkaku islands, which are claimed by Japan. The official with the Ministry of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries took the unusual step of granting an interview concerning the Senkaku issue to a foreign media outlet...

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Yonaguni is getting a garrison

[cetsEmbedGmap src=http://maps.google.com/?ll=24.379623,123.159485&spn=1.781133,2.947083&t=h&z=9 width=600 height=350 marginwidth=0 marginheight=0 frameborder=0 scrolling=no] First broached last July, a proposal to station troops on Yonaguni island is becoming a reality. The Ministry of Defense has finalized its decision to station around 100 Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) members on Yonaguni Island in Okinawa Prefecture to monitor the coast and the activity of...

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Chinese fishing trawler videos leaked

Video shot from Japan Coast Guard vessels during the incident with the Chinese fishing trawler Minjinyu 5179 have been leaked onto YouTube. The video was released to the Diet on October 28th and screened by lawmakers on the 2nd. One of the lawmakers said: “It was a blatant act of obstructing officers from performing their...

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Japan planning dramatic boost in submarines

So, last week me and this “conflict reporter” guy were hanging out in my backyard, shooting the breeze, and I mentioned that I thought Japan would fortify the Senkaku islands with land-based missiles. Missile, maybe in silos, I said. Something with a permanent presence. No, conflict reporter guy said, submarines. They’ll built more submarines. I...

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Continuing developments in the Japan – China dispute

- China has released three of the four Fujita Corp. employees arrested for unauthorized filming in a “military zone”. The three Japanese nationals released on Thursday admitted to violating Chinese law, Xinhua news agency said. Japan’s media identified the fourth man as 57-year-old Sadamu Takahashi. A government spokesman said it was not clear why the...

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