News / Asia

Japan Mulls Aerial Patrols to Protect Disputed Islands

Locator map of the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands
Locator map of the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands
— Japan says it intends to strengthen its aerial surveillance, hoping to prevent a repeat of an unprecedented incident Thursday when a Chinese government plane flew near disputed isles in the East China Sea.

The Japanese Air Self Defense Force scrambled eight F-15 fighter jets after a coast guard vessel radioed that a Chinese aircraft was flying just south of the largest disputed island.

Japanese land-based radar failed to detect the low flying turboprop surveillance plane from China.

An airplane belonging to China's state oceanic administration flies past about 15 km (9 miles) south of one of the disputed islets in this handout released by 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters-Japan Coast Guard, December 13, 2012.An airplane belonging to China's state oceanic administration flies past about 15 km (9 miles) south of one of the disputed islets in this handout released by 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters-Japan Coast Guard, December 13, 2012.
x
An airplane belonging to China's state oceanic administration flies past about 15 km (9 miles) south of one of the disputed islets in this handout released by 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters-Japan Coast Guard, December 13, 2012.
An airplane belonging to China's state oceanic administration flies past about 15 km (9 miles) south of one of the disputed islets in this handout released by 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters-Japan Coast Guard, December 13, 2012.
China's foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei responded to reporters' questions Friday about the incident.

Hong says the foreign ministry has demanded many times Japan cease its "illegal activities in territorial aerospace and waters of the Diaoyu Islands, including withdrawing their aircraft."  He adds that Japan has not responded and having a Chinese maritime surveillance plane protect China's territorial sovereignty is "totally normal."

Japanese authorities term unprecedented such a violation of their airspace by a Chinese aircraft.

Japan's chief cabinet secretary, Osamu Fujimura, says further such incidents will be dealt with firmly. Fujimura says the defense ministry is considering patrols by E2C early warning aircraft and AWACS control planes. Japan, he says, wants to utilize every measure it can to protect its airspace.

The provocative flight came during a week when China also sent a flotilla of navy ships near the islands, known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese. The presence of the naval vessels follow what have become almost routine sailings near the territory by Chinese maritime surveillance ships.

The long-festering territorial dispute flared this year after Japan's central government moved to purchase the islands from a private Japanese owner.

That action was taken to keep the islands out of the hands of then Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara. He has since quit the post and formed a new political party.

Ishihara's fringe Japan Restoration Party is hoping to capture enough seats in Sunday's parliamentary election to have influence in forming the next government.

The governing Democratic Party of Japan is widely forecast to lose its grip on power. The largest conservative party, the Liberal Democratic Party, hopes it will capture enough seats outright to place its leader, former prime minister Shinzo Abe, back in his old job.

Abe is known for his hawkish stance towards China.

Although polls show voters, of which 40 percent say they are undecided on their party of preference, are primarily concerned with economic issues, political analysts assert public concern about the increasing Chinese patrols around the islands could give a boost to Abe's and Ishihara's parties.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid