Japan has expectedly condemned the new fishing curbs implemented by China in the South China Sea as they believe it violates international standards in territorial waters. Together with the launch of their Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) late last year, Japan believes that China is causing discomfort in the international community because of these moves.
Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera spoke about China during the military drills conducted by the Self Defense Force‘s elite airborne brigade on Sunday. He says that a unilateral move like imposing restrictions on fishing boats is something that should not be tolerated as there are certain parts of the waters that they are acting as if they own it. “I’m afraid not only Japan but the international society as a whole has a concern that China is unilaterally threatening the existing international order,” Onodera said.
As of January 1, China is now requiring foreign vessels entering in disputed waters to get approval first from the local government, the southern Hainan province, who says the waters are under its jurisdiction. The United States, Japan’s closest ally, immediately reacted, saying the move is “provocative and potentially dangerous.” Tensions between the two East Asian neighbours have reached fever pitch due to the ADIZ implementation and then Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine.
On Sunday, three Chinese ships went into Japan’s territorial waters briefly, which is near the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, which has been a common occurrence since Japan nationalized some of the uninhabited islands. Onodera vowed that incidents like this should not be tolerated and they will continue to defend their waters and territory through diplomatic efforts and strengthening their defense capabilities.
[ via Reuters ]