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Surface Forces: Chinese Fleet Closes In On Okinawa
   Next Article → AIR WEAPONS: Cold War Terror Goes To Korea
April 15, 2010: Japan reports that, for the third time in the past 18 months, Chinese warships have been spotted south of the Japanese Island of Okinawa. This time, it was two Chinese submarines, running on the surface. That had never been seen before, in the area near the Senkaku islands (which are claimed by China, Taiwan and Japan). The Senkakus are eight uninhabited islands, which in the past were only used occasionally by fishermen. The Senkakus are 220 kilometers from Taiwan, 360 kilometers from China and 360 kilometers from Okinawa (which is part of Japan). Japan's claim is the strongest, having first been formally made in 1895. The United States took control of the islands after World War II, and used some of them for bombing practice. Japan continued to claim ownership when, in the 1970s, the possibility of oil deposits in the area caused China and Taiwan to make claims as well. The new Japanese radar facility on nearby Miyako island makes it easier for Japan to assert control over the Senkakus if there is ever a military confrontation with China.

There have been confrontations. Last year, two Chinese J-10A chased away three Japanese F-2 fighters that were near the Senkakus. Two years ago, Chinese coast guard ships began patrolling in the Senkakus, along with Chinese J-10A fighters.

Five years ago, a Chinese oil drilling platform, in disputed waters halfway between China and the Japanese island of Okinawa, began producing natural gas, despite ongoing negotiations over who owns what in that patch of ocean. The Chinese spent two years building that platform, in waters claimed by Japan. A second platform was later built, as well as an underwater oil pipeline for both platforms. China regularly sends groups of warships to patrol the area, to underline their belief that this bit of water is under Chinese control. Japan would probably win any naval war with China, but since China has nuclear weapons, and Japan does not (at least not right now), such a war could go seriously against Japan. This has been brought up in Japan before, and it is feared that the issue may lead to Japan secretly, or openly, building nuclear weapons (which it could certainly do, and quite quickly.)

 

 

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blkfoot    Back in the 50's   4/15/2010 6:19:06 PM
They would have just called for Godzilla to help, and all would be taken care of...whats wrong with the Japanese!!!!
 
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YelliChink       4/15/2010 6:58:08 PM

They would have just called for Godzilla to help, and all would be taken care of...whats wrong with the Japanese!!!!


I have the same question when they elected Hatoyama, even though LDP aren't looking very electable.
 
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Dave_in_Pa       4/16/2010 1:33:38 PM
"Japan would probably win any naval war with China, but since China has nuclear weapons, and Japan does not (at least not right now), such a war could go seriously against Japan."

OR, such a Sino-Japanese war could very well drag the US into it,with our mutual defense treaty obligations and strategic interests, defending Japan with nuclear weapons. 
 
If that's thought too far-fetched, extreme or alarmist a possibility, consider the many analogous historical precedents. For one example, prior to World War One, none of the major European powers thought, or calculated, that their incremental actions subsequent to the Serbian assassination incident, along with the complex web of interconnected mutual defense treaties, would start such a cataclysmic world war as it did.
 
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warpig       4/16/2010 2:47:00 PM
I'd say it would take a war scenario a whole heck of a lot bigger than any naval skirmish with the JMSDF over the Senkakus or off-shore oil drilling rights for the Chinese to decide to go nuclear on Japan, and anyone who is using that sort of scenario to justify any action one way or another is really just flipping out an excuse to do what they already wanted to do in the first place!
 
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trenchsol       4/17/2010 5:14:25 AM
I agree with Warpig, there is a long way to go from naval confrontation to nuclear war.
 
DG

 
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maruben    Chinese destroyers, subs, passed near the disputed Okinotori atoll   4/21/2010 9:35:55 AM
Chinese destroyers, subs, passed near the disputed Okinotori atoll

Kyodo News

Two Chinese submarines and eight destroyers that were spotted earlier this month on the high seas near Okinawa later passed near Japan's southernmost island of Okinotori, several government sources said Tuesday.

Okinotori, a tiny atoll about 1,700 km south of Tokyo, lies midway between Taiwan and Guam in a strategically important spot. China argues it is not an island but a mere group of rocks, rejecting it as a base point for Japan's 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone.

Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa declined to comment on the incident, saying the government has not yet confirmed the passage of the 10 Chinese vessels.

Okinotori is under the jurisdiction of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. It has two outcrops protruding only about 1 meter from the sea. The government has built concrete walls and a solar-powered lighthouse on the spot.

Beijing insists Tokyo should not claim the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf stretching from Okinotori, given that the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea does not recognize such zones or the continental shelf around rocky outcrops that cannot sustain human habitation or economic life.

Earlier in the month, the Maritime Self-Defense Force confirmed that the Chinese submarines and destroyers were navigating southeastward on the high seas between the main island of Okinawa and Miyako Island.

China conducted a naval drill near Okinotori last June.

 
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