Japan’s National Institute for Defense Studies has published a report outlining a crisis management mechanism between China and its own nation. The police research arm of the Defense Ministry has prepared the report to discuss measures that need to be implemented to avoid a military conflict with the Asian giant. The 40-page report details the mechanism, which both countries have agreed upon to avoid any clash. Many analysts have been expressing concern over close proximity of Chinese and Japanese ships in the East China Sea, which could potentially lead to an armed conflict.
“Crisis management with China is possible. China deeply understands the necessity of crisis management especially in the context of preventing a crisis situation from escalating into a military confrontation or clash,” the report stated. A maritime communication mechanism has already been drafted by the two countries, which includes three levels. The first one is working level discussions, followed by a high-level hotline between the two neighbors, and third is the communication among ships and aircrafts. While the said mechanism has already been in place, increased tension between Japan and China halted the implantation. Japan’s procurement of the uninhabited Senkaku Islands from their private owners, which China also claims, added strain to the already rocky bilateral ties. The report continued by saying that, “Japan-China defense exchanges tend not to function adequately when the political relationship deteriorates,” in clear emphasis of the importance in strengthening and deepening engagement with Chinese maritime law enforcement agencies. It continued with saying, “This is the reason it is important to discuss and share with China the safety standards of military operations within a multilateral practical framework that is less susceptible of political confrontation.”
The report also suggested the importance for Japan and other countries to attend the Western Pacific Naval Symposium, which is held for navies in the Pacific. China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy is part of the forum, and would seem to be a good opportunity to talk diplomatically on matters involving maritime and aerial encounters. A summit between Japan and China must also be held. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has not held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping since the start of each other’s administration. Research fellow Masayuki Masuda hopes that China’s hosting of the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum summit will provide the backdrop for such discussions to materialize. ‘This year would be good timing for top leaders of Japan and China to have direct contact, with China hosting APEC. I think the Beijing APEC meeting would be a chance for talks between Mr. Abe and Xi Jinping,” he said.
Comments Off on JDP Startup Corner: Pros & Cons of Working with a Partner in Japan