Japan mulling long-term response to China over Senkaku Islands
Tokyo: Japan is preparing long-term responses to Chinese provocations that are challenging its administrative control of the disputed Senkaku Islands.
Chinese planes and ships have been constantly present around the islands, which are known as Diaoyu in China, since Japan bought three of the five islands on September 11.
Some Chinese ships and planes have entered Japan’s airspace and waters, showing the increasing pressure China is putting on Japan to recognize that a territorial dispute over the islands exists, which Tokyo has refused to admit for decades, the Japan Times reports.
Japan spotted one or more Chinese ships in its territorial waters around the islands or surrounding contiguous zone on 92 days last year, according to the Japan Coast Guard`s 11th regional headquarters in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture.
In recent days, a flotilla of four vessels led by a large 3,000-ton-class ship has been spotted.
According to the report, seeing the need for long-term surveillance, the Japan Coast Guard has planned to form a special patrol unit for the Senkakus comprising 12 ships.
The unit won’t be established until April 2015, at the earliest, and outlays for six of the ships will be sought from the fiscal 2012 extra budget, the report added.
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