While the World Watches the Iran Talks, Japan and China Move Closer to War
Monday, November 25, 2013
A small group of uninhabited islands, the Senkaku Islands if you are Japanese, the Diaoyu Islands if you are Chinese, are causing major friction between the countries.
China has created a new ‘air defense identification zone’ over the disputed waters around the islands.
The islands are claimed and controlled by Japan and Japan purchased three of the islands from a private citizen who owned them in September 2012. China, though, still claims the islands are in their territorial waters. The matter is complicated further by a claim that South Korea “owns” a submerged rock called Leodo and that the Chinese air zone encompasses the Leodo rock.
Taiwan has also laid claim to the small island chain and has declared that it would “defend its sovereignty of the archipelago”.
The air defense zone came into effect on Saturday and China is insisting that all aircraft passing through the zone must:
“maintain two-way radio communications” and “respond in a timely and accurate manner” to identification inquiries, China’s Defence Ministry said. Aircraft that did not follow such rules would be subject to “defensive emergency measures”, the ministry added.
China has said that any attempt by Japan to shoot down the drones it regularly flies over the islands will be considered an act of war and they would react appropriately.