Amidst reports of Japan and the United States coming up with a joint military plan to counter an invasion of the Senkakus/Dioayus, China‘s defense ministry responded by saying they will be “steadfast” in their defense of their territorial integrity. They also reiterated that the disputed islands in the East China Sea belongs to them.
In a faxed message to the AFP, China’s defense ministry said that they are determined to “safeguard China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” and their will to do so is steadfast. They also emphasized that they “firmly oppose” any action from Japan or the United States that would further complicate this situation. They are of course referring to the tense cat and mouse games that the Japanese and Chinese vessels have been playing the past few months in the waters near the Senkakus.
A report from Japan’s Nikkei said that an unnamed US Pentagon source confirmed that General Shigeru Iwasaki, chief of staff of the Japanese Self Defence Forces Joint Staff, and Admiral Samuel Locklear, commander of the US Pacific Command, will meet in Hawaii to draft a plan that will counter any attempt from China to invade the Senkakus and claim sovereignty over the islands. If reports are true, this is the first time the allies will address this issue together. The US has not said outright that they will come to Japan’s aid in case of more aggressive Chinese actions, but it has implied that the Japan-US defence alliance applies to situations like this.
Both the Japanese and Chinese governments seem to be taking nationalistic and patriotic stances with regards to the ongoing tensions between the two. China’s newly installed President Xi Jinping said he is committed to fight for a “great renaissance of the Chinese nation” while Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told the new graduates of the National Defence Academy that they should be prepared to guard the country against “provocations”. Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party, at its annual convention last Sunday, made a pledge to hasten the reformation of Japan’s pacifist constitution to be able to create a full-fledged military.[ via Channel News Asia ]