SCMP: Japan places military on standby for “intrusions” by dozens of Chinese fishing boats in disputed waters
Wed August, 2020, Age: 2 years
Beijing has reportedly called for an August 16 end to a ban on Chinese boats operating near the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands, which Japan controls. In response, Japan’s Defense Minister Taro Kono told a press conference that Self-Defense Forces (SDF) units are ready to respond, but did not give details on what units would be involved and what actions might be taken.
China claims territorial sovereignty over the islands, and maintains that Japan has no right to oust its vessels. The Chinese coast guard have maintained a near-constant presence near the islands over the past 18 months, entering Japan’s territorial waters around the islands at will and ignoring requests to leave. An analyst observed that Japan’s coastguard was already stretched, with units in the north monitoring Russian forces, others operating in the Sea of Japan to curb poaching by North Korean fishing boats and yet more operating in different parts of the Japanese archipelago. China, with a far larger coastguard and navy, is aware of those limitations and is probing for Japan’s weaknesses