According to the new Chinese ambassador to Japan, the two incidents in the last month of Chinese helicopters flying near Maritime Self Defense Force ships were actually Japan’s fault.

According to Kyodo, though China has explained to Japan that the approaches were a “necessary defense measure” in response to Japanese surveillance activities, Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada said Friday that he was “not convinced” by the explanation.

Also :

“”How would the Japanese people feel if there was a Japanese drill and the Japanese left port and were then annoyingly chased by Chinese destroyers? That breaches the spirit of mutual understanding and mutual trust,” AFP quoted Cheng as saying at the Japan National Press Club.”

Hmm, I doubt the Japanese would like it very much. That having been said, reports were that the Japanese ships only started shadowing the Chinese fleet when it appeared off the coast of Okinawa. That is a long way from any Chinese port.

I find myself sympathetic to the Chinese, to a point: if you look at a map, it’s hard to make for the open Pacific without passing within 140 kilometers of anyone: the Philippines, Taiwan, Japan, etc. The Japanese were being a bit too sensitive in complaining about the incident. China has a blue water navy now. But harassing your neighbors when they come to see what you’re doing–with a vastly smaller force–is not very neighborly.

I doubt the Maritime Self Defense Force has ever sailed 8 destroyers and frigates and 2 submarines within 140 kilometers of Chinese land territory. And I think everyone knows the Chinese would not like that very much.

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A contributor and editor at the blog War Is Boring, Kyle Mizokami started Japan Security Watch in 2010 to further understand Japan's defenses and security policy.
Kyle Mizokami has 536 post(s) on Japan Security Watch