News / Asia

    US, Japan Discuss Plan to Counter China over Disputed Islands

    Chinese marine surveillance ship Haijian No. 51 (R) cruises next to a Japan Coast Guard patrol ship, Akaishi, in the East China Sea near the disputed isles known as Senkaku isles in Japan and Diaoyu islands in China, February 4, 2013.
    Chinese marine surveillance ship Haijian No. 51 (R) cruises next to a Japan Coast Guard patrol ship, Akaishi, in the East China Sea near the disputed isles known as Senkaku isles in Japan and Diaoyu islands in China, February 4, 2013.
    Analysts say the Pentagon's recent announcement that it is working with Japan to counter any Chinese military action to seize disputed islands in the East China Sea is a surprisingly blunt warning to Beijing.

    A U.S. defense official on Wednesday said the chief of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces Joint Staff, General Shigeru Iwasaki, will meet later this week with the head of the U.S. Pacific Command, Admiral Samuel Locklear, to discuss a plan to retake the islands Japan calls the Senkaku, should China invade. It confirmed an earlier report by Japan's Nikkei  newspaper.

    Washington officials have repeatedly reaffirmed the islands fall under an American defense pact with Japan that obliges the United States to aid Tokyo in the event of an attack. But, they have been careful not to anger Beijing, insisting the U.S. does not take a position on the sovereignty of the islands, called the Diaoyu by China.

    In recent months, China has conducted almost-daily maritime patrols around the Japanese-controlled islands, leading some analysts to believe it is trying to establish a new status quo in the strategic, energy-rich area. Both countries have also scrambled fighter jets to the area, raising fears of a military clash.

    Mohan Malik, a professor of Asian security at the Hawaii-based Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, says the Pentagon's announcement is aimed at deterring China from further escalating the dispute.

    "The Chinese are trying to challenge Japan's control of the islands through the deployment of civilian maritime surveillance vessels. They believe this will weaken Japan's control of the islands and reinforce China's sovereignty claims," said Malik.

    Malik says the United States is also worried Japan may overreact to the Chinese patrols. He says the Pentagon's announcement is meant to reassure Japanese officials, who have long wanted explicit statements of support on the island issue.

    "They want the U.S. to make unequivocal statements in support of Japan's claims, which has been done at the diplomatic level. But obviously, they want some sort of military demonstration of this commitment and this should be viewed as part of that," he said.

    John Blaxland, a senior fellow at the Australian National University's Strategic and Defense Center, says is not surprised that the U.S. is discussing contingency plans with Japan.

    "But what is surprising is the fact that it's being leaked to the media," he said. "The fact that a Pentagon official is saying that we're planning [to retake the islands] is, in itself, a significant turn of events. And, it speaks to what appears to be a deliberate attempt to convey a strong message to China about the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands."

    On Thursday, China said it was "gravely concerned" at the reports of the U.S.-Japan talks. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said "no outside pressure" would shake Beijing's determination to defend its "national territorial sovereignty." Earlier, China's Defense Ministry said it firmly opposes "any action that could further complicate and magnify the situation."

    For decades, China and Japan have quarreled about the tiny, uninhabited islands. They are surrounded by rich fishing grounds and a strategic shipping area. The conflict has escalated in recent years, after surveys suggested there were oil reserves in the area.

    Victor Beattie contributed to this report.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Wangchuk from: NYC
    March 22, 2013 10:17 AM
    Under int'l law the Senkaku Islands belong to Japan & have been since 1895. Whether China had previous control over these islands that no one cared about until recently is irrelevant since borders change all the time. No country's borders have remained unchanged throughout history. If the PRC wants to regain legal control over these islands there is a process: they can take their claim to the Int'l Court of Justice (ICJ). That is the mechanism for dealing w/ border disputes between UN members, not unilaterally asserting sovereignty over territory as the PRC has done. The PRC says it wants to be a respected member of the int'l community but they won't use int'l methods of arbitration like the ICJ to settle disputes. It seems the PRC only wants to have it their way & even else can go to hell. Chinese hegemonism rears its ugly head.

    by: Alex wong from: China
    March 22, 2013 5:00 AM
    Diaoyu island belongs to China!!
    In Response

    by: remie from: canada
    March 22, 2013 7:34 AM
    @ alex,
    yeah right, china thinks they own everthing ;P

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora