[Ed. – Japan sees the writing on the wall concerning Taiwan, and wants to warn China off of any attempt to make a bid for both Taiwan and the Senkakus in one operation. The U.S. position, by the way, is that Japan’s claim to the Senkakus is the valid one. That differs from our position on the Kuril Islands in the north, which is that we don’t back one claim or the other (Japan’s or Russia’s), but urge a peaceful resolution. Of course, we haven’t heard from General Milley yet on any of these longstanding security policies.]
Japan is drawing a red line around an island chain also claimed by China, pushing back at Beijing’s increasingly aggressive military posturing, and setting the stage for a potential showdown between the region’s two biggest powers.
In an exclusive interview with CNN, Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said the Senkaku Islands, known as the Diaoyu Islands in China, are unquestionably Japanese territory and would be defended as such, with Tokyo matching any Chinese threat to the islands ship for ship, and beyond if necessary.
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According to Japanese authorities, Chinese Coast Guard vessels have ventured into Japanese territorial waters, or within 12 nautical miles of Japanese land, a total of 88 times between January 1 and the end of August. While in the contiguous zone, waters between islands but not within 12 miles of shore, there have been 851 Chinese incursions.