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INTERNATIONAL > East Asia & Pacific

Gov’t alarmed by China’s provocations in Japanese waters, mulls summit talks

A Chinese naval vessel intruded into Japanese territorial waters off Kagoshima Prefecture on June 15. This came after the intrusion into the contiguous zone near the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa on June 9. The government is seriously alarmed by this series of provocations on Japan’s periphery. However, Japan does not want its relations with China to deteriorate. It wants to urge China to exercise restraint through dialogue between the two countries’ leaders.

 

Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters at the Foreign Ministry on June 15: “I am concerned about China’s recent actions that have heightened tensions.”

 

It is believed that Beijing is taking these actions out of irritation with the Japan-U.S.-led international encirclement of China in response to its efforts to build artificial islands as military strongholds in the South China Sea. For instance, the G7 Ise-Shima Summit declaration called for the “pursuit of peaceful means,” such as arbitration procedures, in conflict settlement with China in mind.

 

The Chinese ship intruded into Japanese waters tailing two Indian vessels participating in joint exercises with Japan and the U.S. A government source offered the analysis that this was meant to “harass India, which is moving closer to Japan and the U.S.” Since the U.S. is engaged in surveillance operations near China’s artificial islands, it is also reckoned that this was China’s retaliation against Japan and the U.S.

 

The government will attempt to restrain China’s maritime advances through international conferences and other gatherings. It is also considering holding a Japan-China summit on the sidelines of the G20 Summit to be held in China in September to ask the Chinese leader directly to exercise restraint.

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