For ages now Japan and China have been at a standstill as each country makes allegations against one another. However, the recent conflict between Ukraine and Russia has made these allegations even more serious than in previous years. China has developed a not-so-secret alliance with Russia, and Japan has helped support the cause in Ukraine. This alone puts the two nations at odds with one another.
According to a diplomatic protest filed by Japan on May 9th against Beijing, they allege that the Chinese violated their maritime territory with Chinese Coast Guard vessels. They allege these vessels appeared near the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands in the China Sea earlier that same date. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno Hirokazu confirmed this intrusion during a press briefing later on the 9th.
As quoted by Kyodo News, Hirokazu said “It is totally regrettable and intolerable that China’s coast guard ships have entered territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands. Such activities violate international law in the first place. We have lodged a protest through diplomatic channels and strongly urged them to leave the territorial waters swiftly.” The Senkaku Islands are uninhabited territory, that China continues to claim despite Japan’s control over the land which they have named Diaoyu. The Senkaku archipelago is located 105 miles north of Ishigaki Island, which is a part of the Okinawa Prefecture.
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Given that China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) conducted sea and air exercises near the island from May 2nd to May 8th, this kind of allegation is not unsurprising. Part of the allegation was the Japanese Ministry of Defense reporting a Chinese Liaoning aircraft carrier out to sea roughly 99 miles south of Ishigaki Island. They alleged that the carrier was there for six days, and numerous fighter jets and helicopters were witnessed taking off from and landing on the craft.
Kyodo News paraphrased Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno, saying “The activities could be part of China’s efforts to bolster its joint aerial and maritime operational capabilities in the Pacific, and Japan will continue to take heed of the situation and keep up surveillance at sea and in the air.” This kind of surveillance is crucial to the survival of Japan. Despite being an island, their location makes them a prime target for many nations to attack, and China would love to claim the nation as their own.
For the last 20 years or so China has been creeping its borders out there and building up man-made islands. Their acts of aggression and their development of new places to stage their military are all indicators of their desire to become the dominant superpower of the globe. Their recent public statements about their goals of reunifying the island of Taiwan with mainland China makes many worried about the future. Should they take over Taiwan, other nations like Japan, Australia, and even the US may be required to act to defend the small nation.
This kind of conflict could indeed launch us right into WWIII. The Chinese will not take lightly to other nations’ meddling in their affairs. Much the same, the beacon of hope and freedom that the US stands for cannot be snuffed out of fear. Should they choose to attack Taiwan, Japan, or even get hands-on with the Ukraine-Russia conflict, we would be left with no choice. As much as the American people would love to avoid this kind of war, the responsibility to protect those who are unable to protect themselves is something the US takes seriously. Anyway you see the situation, there is no time like the present to ensure your training is up to date. With Sleepy Joe at the helm, there’s no telling how soon you’ll need to make use of it.