The Japanese Defense Ministry stated on Monday that it was planning to strengthen its security over the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands by flying American-build unmanned drones over the territory in the East China Sea. The aircraft, known as Global Hawk UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), are targeted to be in use by the 2015 fiscal year, government officials said.
Tensions with China remain high after Japan formally purchased the uninhabited islands already under its control in mid-September. While violent protesting and the calls for boycotting Japanese goods in China have since died down, the Beijing government has been seen as taking steps to escalate its claims over the territory, even threatening the use of military force. The country launched its first aircraft carrier a few months ago, stating that it would serve to protect China’s sovereignty, security, and development interest in its surrounding waters.
In mid-December China filed a claim with the United Nations, arguing that its basis for rightful ownership of the islands is based on geological placement. Amid these moves, Chinese patrol ships have been seen in the area around the islands almost non-stop since September, repeatedly entering Japan’s territorial waters and stating they are within their rights. An official Beijing aircraft also violated Japanese airspace for the first time in over 50 years last month by flying over the Senkaku Islands. The Japanese Defense Ministry responded by deploying several fighter jets, however, no further action was needed.
[via The Right Perspective]