Japan navy drill in South China Sea may lead to larger role

By seeking to portray China as a bully in the South China Sea and ganging up with China’s rival claimants there, Tokyo also aims to create the right atmosphere for the adoption of a new package of security bills which will significantly expand the scope of overseas operations by the country’s self-defense forces.

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The first step that any sovereign state which has gotten attacked by force would take is reinforcing its garrisons to prevent any violation of its sovereignty. Specifically, the Japanese government reiterates its commitment to continue its capacity-building assistance to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to enhance maritime domain awareness.

This week’s drills follow Beijing’s announcement last week that it would soon end its land reclamation efforts in the South China Sea. Instead it’s the cool calculation of a country with a penchant for stability and a keen eye for potential dangers; and it is this insidiousness that is most alarming.

It is not an issue between the United States and China, but between China and some ASEAN members, Russell told a media briefing, while calling on China to stop militarizing outposts in the South China Sea. They therefore look to the Washington for help.

The Philippines has recently been seeking to boost its poorly equipped military by acquiring new weapons, and deepening defence ties with allies like the United States and Japan. Because in the South China Sea, China seems to not only be violating worldwide law, but setting its own rules.

Japan and the Philippines flew patrol planes near disputed waters in the South China Sea for a second straight day on Wednesday, defying Chinese warnings.

“The goal is to develop a limited degree of military deterrence – primarily against the United States Navy”, says Feng Zhang, who teaches worldwide relations at Australian National University in Canberra.

China’s Foreign Ministry echoed the logic that it is the region’s largest country, and by implication it doesn’t intend to bend to the will of its neighbors. China uses the biggest dredge ships in the world to destroy the coral reef ecosystem for extracted material. The incident came as China and Vietnam held bilateral meetings in Beijing late last week.

They will take place in global airspace and outside Philippine territorial waters, it said in a statement.

Protecting freedom of navigation is important in waters that host more than $5 trillion of shipping each year and are home to about a 10th of the world’s annual fishing catch.

In a separate interview with the same newspaper, Zheng Guoguang, the head of the China Meteorological Administration, said the building of new meteorological facilities is to benefit the whole region, which often suffers from extreme weather, the South China Morning Post reported.

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Tensions have been rising in recent years due to China’s more muscular approach to enforcing its claim to most of the South China Sea, even up to the coasts of its neighbours including the Philippines.

Philippines steps up drills with US Japan forces