The United States government confirmed on Thursday that it would work closely with Japan over China’s recent usage of weapon-targeting radar on a Japanese military ship in waters near the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands. Senior foreign and defense officials from both the U.S. and Japan met and discussed the incident at the State Department, agreeing to share information and analyses on China‘s actions.
Observers see this as an indirect warning to China that two allies will work closely together against ever-increasing aggressions over a number of territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas. The use of the weapons radar is said to have taken place twice in the month of January, but was only first revealed on Tuesday, February 5th. On the same day as the announcement of cooperation, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters that the U.S. was ready to help Japan in addressing the incident, adding that it’s something they have been regularly monitoring.
The day after the radar usage was disclosed by Tokyo, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urged China to avoid such confrontations that could easily be misunderstood and lead to an exchange of fire. Yesterday saw a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman state that the government only learned about the military’s use of radar on a Japanese ship from the resulting media reports, even going so far as to tell the press to address “competent authorities” on the matter.