In many ways this is almost comical observing China and Japan go at it over a couple of chunks of rock sitting out in the middle of the ocean called the Senkaku Islands. The other day, China sent an armada of something like 230 fishing vessels towards the Senkaku Islands, sort of like taunting Japan, okay, now what are you going to do about it? Now the most recent report is, a Chinese fighter flies within 50 kilometers of the Senkaku Islands. Alright Japan, now what? How far are these deliberate encroachments going to escalate?
Source: The Japan Times
Chinese fighter jet came within 50 km of disputed Senkakus, source says
August 14, 2016
Chinese military fighter jets have approached the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea since late May and one of them flew within 50 kilometers of Japan’s territorial airspace around the islets, a Japanese government source said Saturday.
Tokyo scrambled Air Self-Defense Force fighter jets against the Chinese aircraft, the source said, adding it is “abnormal” for Chinese aircraft to so closely approach Japan’s territorial airspace.
Chinese military airplanes have neared the islets more than three times since late May, the source said.
From April to June, Japan scrambled ASDF fighter jets against Chinese aircraft approaching its airspace 199 times, breaking the previous record of 198, set over the preceding three months, the Defense Ministry said.
A white paper released by the ministry this month criticized China’s activities in the sea as “high-handed” unilateral action attempting to alter the status quo by force.
Kunio Orita, a former head of the ASDF Air Support Command, published a report online in late June saying an ASDF plane that had been scrambled had to employ a countermeasure against a possible missile attack and left the area. The Defense Ministry has denied the report.
Tokyo has voiced concern over Chinese naval vessels’ sailing in and around Japanese territorial waters in the East China Sea recently, including in a contiguous zone surrounding the Senkakus. Beijing claims the uninhabited islets and calls them Diaoyu.
The United States has also expressed opposition to any attempt to undermine Japan’s administration of the islands, in reference to continued intrusions by Chinese government ships into Japanese waters around the islets despite repeated protests by Tokyo.