Somebody Needs To Tell China: Japan is Not an “Outsider” in the South China Sea — Japan’s trade through the South China Sea makes it a party to any potential restrictions of commerce

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Each year, $5.3 trillion of trade passes through the South China Sea. U.S. trade accounts for $1.2 trillion of this total. Japan’s trade through the South China Sea almost equals that of the U.S.

Photo credit Getty Images

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China hits back at Japan over its role in the South China Sea

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SEPTEMBER 19, 2016

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CHINA has issued a scathing response to Japan’s recent announcement that it will expand its presence in the South China Sea.

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In an editorial piece for the country’s official press agency Xinhua, writer Qu Junya questioned Tokyo’s motives and accused the Japanese government of “fishing in troubled waters” as opposed to seeking regional peace.

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“As keeping maritime order in the South China Sea is a shared duty of the region’s coastal states, the huge interest an outsider like Japan has shown in following in the footsteps of the United States can hardly be justified,” writes Junya.

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China and Russia conducting military exercises together

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He goes on to accuse them of actually getting involved over tensions regarding the East China Sea conflict.

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“That is where its true and major purpose lies,” he writes.

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“Apparently, Japan is making cats paw out of the South China Sea issue to secure more bargaining chips at its own negotiating table, rather than pursue regional peace and stability.”

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Despite being key trade partners with a steady co-dependent economic relationship, Japan and China have a troubled history dating back to World War II.

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The article acknowledges this, saying it’s hard to buy the belief that Japan is truly pacifist.

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“Analysts find the remarks hardly convincing as Japan still refuses to face squarely its history and atrocities during World War II, and that its government is seeking to amend the country’s pacifist post-war constitution.

 

“In fact, any military moves of Japan would quickly remind its neighbours of their wartime sufferings.”

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The Xinhua article evoked a history of conflict between China and Japan. Source:AFP

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Late last week, Japan announced its intention to step up its activity in the disputed South China Sea region.

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Japanese Defence Minister Tomoomi Inada said the country will conduct joint training patrols with the United States and bilateral and multilateral exercises with regional navies, despite having no territorial claims in the region.

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Ms Inada justified the decision by saying Japan shared similar concerns with the US about China’s rise to power and aggressive pursuit of territorial claims.

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“In this context, I strongly support the US Navy’s freedom-of-navigation operations, which go a long way to upholding the rules-based international maritime order,” she said.

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“Japan, for its part, will increase its engagement in the South China Sea through, for example, Maritime Self-Defence Force joint training cruises with the US Navy and bilateral and multilateral exercises with regional navies,” she said.

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http://www.news.com.au/finance/economy/world-economy/china-hits-back-at-japan-over-its-expansion-in-the-south-china-sea-dispute/news-story/4bb41053b95e62e1e6c1af3d586a2242

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Japan is planning on increasing its activities in the South China Sea

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Updated 4:48 PM ET, Fri September 16, 2016

(CNN) Japan is planning on upping its activities in the South China Sea through joint training patrols with the United States and exercises with regional navies, Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada said.

Japan would also be giving military aid to countries such as the Philippines and Vietnam as it increases its role in the contested waters of the South China Sea, Inada said Thursday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank in Washington, DC.
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Photo taken Sept. 16, 2016 shows the Chinese navy frigate Huangshan (left) and the Russian navy anti-submarine ship Admiral Tributs taking part in a joint naval drill at sea off China’s Guangdong province. The Chinese and Russian navies launched eight days of war games in the South China Sea, in a sign of growing cooperation between their armed forces against the backdrop of regional territorial disputes. AP
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Inada also welcomed the US’s plan to allocate 60% of its Navy and Air Force assets to the Asia Pacific region by 2020.
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Territorial rows
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Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan are engaged in territorial disputes with China.
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China says it owns the bulk of the South China Sea, pointing to a 1947 map to justify claiming territory that lies hundreds of miles to the south and east of its island province, Hainan.
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The ongoing disputes have intensified as countries in the region build up their military defenses against China, and with Vietnamese fishermen who operate in the Paracel Islands — territory claimed by Vietnam, China and Taiwan — caught up in the fray.
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In July 2016, an international tribunal in the Hague ruled in favor of the Philippines in a maritime dispute by concluding that China had no legal basis to claim historic rights to expansive territories in the South China Sea.
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Inada mentioned how China’s recent activities in the East China and South China seas were “raising serious concern in the Asia-Pacific and beyond.”
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“I would like to underline my government’s resolve to protect our territorial integrity and sovereignty,” said Inada.
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“To this end, we will continue our own defense efforts and also maintain and enhance the Japan-U.S. alliance.”

Japan’s role

Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) escort ship Kurama sails through smoke during a fleet review off Sagami Bay, Kanagawa prefecture, on October 18, 2015.

Nancy Snow, a professor of public diplomacy at Kyoto University, told CNN that under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan has made it “crystal clear” that its Self Defense Forces will be “more interventionist” and closely aligned with the US.
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“Right now, it has a lot to do with Japan flexing its muscles and being under the thumb of the US military, which can’t operate on its own in the South China Sea,” Snow told CNN.
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Snow explained that currently China was in competition with the US and would not back away from its claims over the South China Sea.
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But Snow warned that Japan had much to lose from strengthening its military presence in the world.
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“Japan has a 71-year-old history of being a peace brand, but there are plenty of people who would say that it’s time for an update, but if so, why aren’t the public on board?” asked Snow. “Japan’s strength has come through trade and culture, not through having a high military profile.”
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Some, however, view Japan’s increased investment in its military might as a defense mechanism for “serious security threats” in the region. Inada referenced North Korea’s desire to continue its nuclear missile tests,while in March 2015, then vice defense minister Kenji Harada told the Washington Times that Japan was building up its military to defend against the threats posed by China.
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Increased US presence
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In recent months, tensions have risen in the South China Sea as the United States has increased its presence there. In May 2016, the Navy sent a guided missile destroyer within 12 miles of a disputed island in the South China Sea, prompting China to dispatch fighter jets and warships to “expel” the American ship.
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On Wednesday, Chinese and Russian naval ships began joint exercises in the South China Sea, adding a new twist to the ongoing tensions.
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Japan Is Stepping Up Engagement in South China Sea Against Xi’s Will
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Isabel Reynolds
Bloomberg News
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September 16, 2016 — 12:35 AM EDT
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Japan’s new defense minister said Thursday her nation would step up activity in the South China Sea, in comments made less than two weeks after Chinese President Xi Jinping urged Japan to “exercise caution” in the waters.
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“Japan on its part will increase its engagement in the South China Sea through, for example, Maritime Self-Defense Force joint training cruises with the U.S. Navy, bilateral and multi-lateral exercises with regional navies, as well as providing capacity building assistance to coastal nations,” Tomomi Inada said in a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
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While not a claimant in the complex web of territorial disputes in the water bisected by vital shipping lanes, Japan has frequently urged all parties to adhere to international law and refrain from trying to change the status quo. Japan has also provided assistance to the coastguards and navies of Southeast Asian nations and has its own, separate territorial dispute with China.
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For background on the China’s maritime push, click here
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In the speech at the Washington think tank on her first visit to the U.S. as defense minister, Inada singled out China for its reclamation of land around maritime features in the water and expressed support for the U.S. Navy’s freedom of navigation operations there.
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“Coercive attempts to change the facts on the ground and upend the prevailing norms do not serve anybody’s interest,” she said. “Unfortunately, what China has been doing recently in the East China Sea and South China Sea is just that, and it is raising serious concern in the Asia-Pacific and beyond.”
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China’s Xi Jinping and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, November 10, 2014. Getty Images
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Earlier this month, Xi met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for the first time in almost a year and a half. During the discussions on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Hangzhou, China, Xi said Japan should “exercise caution in its words and deeds” on the South China Sea issue, Xinhua news agency reported.
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Inada, who last month became the second woman to be appointed Japan’s defense minister, is known for embracing causes that irritate Japan’s biggest trading partner. She is a frequent visitor to Yasukuni Shrine, seen by many in China as well as South Korea as a symbol of Japan’s past military aggression in Asia.
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In her speech, however, she also emphasized that the defense ministry would “keep the door open” for constructive dialogue with China, and that she was committed to accelerated talks on a maritime and air communication mechanism between the two countries to prevent unplanned collisions in disputed areas of the East China Sea.
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Armed Clash in the South China Sea: Contingency Planning Memorandum No. 14 (This is somewhat dated but still has a lot of good information)
http://www.cfr.org/asia-and-pacific/armed-clash-south-china-sea/p27883
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Related:
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Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc attend a signing ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, September 12, 2016. REUTERS/Lintao Zhang/Pool
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Vietnam has long worried about China’s theft of Vietnamese natural resources, including fish and oil. In this photos a Chinese Coast Guard vessel (R) passes near the Chinese oil rig, Haiyang Shi You 981 (L) in the South China Sea, about 210 km (130 miles) from the coast of Vietnam June 13, 2014. REUTERS/Nguyen Minh

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Fishing boats set sail from Tongling port in Dongshan County, southeast China’s Fujian Province, Aug. 1, 2015.

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One Response to “Somebody Needs To Tell China: Japan is Not an “Outsider” in the South China Sea — Japan’s trade through the South China Sea makes it a party to any potential restrictions of commerce”

  1. daveyone1 Says:

    Reblogged this on World Peace Forum.

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