Remember that MSDF Training Squadron that passed through San Francisco five months ago, the one that yours truly (see above) got to hang out on? The one that then proceeded to make a round-the-world trip? The Chinese port of Qingdao was supposed to be the second-to-last port visit. It’s been cancelled.
Hanoi, Oct. 11 (Jiji Press)–The Chinese government has requested postponement of a Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force ship’s scheduled visit to a port in Qingdao of China’s Shangdong Province, it was learned Monday.
The MSDF training ship is set to make the Qingdao port call from Friday to Oct. 19. But on Sunday Beijing proposed the visit be put off, Japanese defense officials said.
In a meeting here Monday with his Chinese counterpart, Liang Guanglie, Japan’s Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa asked China to allow the port call as scheduled.
But Liang said that given Chinese people’s sentiment toward Japanese after the ship collision incident last month in disputed waters, he thinks it too early for a Japanese warship to anchor in a Chinese port, according to sources with access to the meeting. (Link)
This will open up a hole in the Training Squadron’s schedule as the ships left Jakarta on October 5th and, with the deletion of the Qingdao stop, are next scheduled to visit Busan, South Korea on the 21st.
Having whipped up anti-Japanese nationalism, the Chinese may have a point. The last thing both sides need is a Japanese sailor on liberty thrown into Qingdao harbor with a knife in his back. Besides, state visits are always a bit dicey. A little bird told me the PLAN wanted to visit the United States in October, but the answer was a firm, “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.”
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