China’s maritime police ships cruise the Diaoyu Islands on a regular basis, Japan intensifies its vigilance

Chinese official ships have been sailing around the Senkaku Islands (known as the Diaoyu Islands in China) for 112 consecutive days until June 4, the longest since the nationalization of the Senkaku in September 2012, and attempts to approach Japanese fishing boats operating in territorial waters are becoming the norm. The Japanese side has also stepped up its vigilance in consideration of China’s Maritime Police Law, which allows the Marine Police Bureau to use weapons, which came into effect on February 1 this year. The situation around the Senkaku Islands, Okinawa prefecture put forward the position that “there must not be a situation where fishing boats can not operate”, and asked the Japanese government to always resolve the situation peacefully through dialogue.

According to Kyodo News, Chinese ships approaching Senkaku fishing boats are becoming the norm, and the Japanese side has stepped up its vigilance. According to Japan’s 11th District Maritime Security Headquarters (Naha), Chinese official ships were spotted sailing for 147 days so far this year. Recently, it was reported that “all the Japanese fishing boats found in the territorial waters were attempted to approach” (in the words of a marine security source).

On February 6, shortly after the implementation of the Chinese Maritime Police Law, Japanese fishing boats operating in the territorial waters were followed or sailed side by side. According to fishermen and others, the other side used loudspeakers to shout in Chinese. Japanese fishermen have also seen Chinese official boats before and said “there is no change from the usual”.

The report quoted a former Maritime Self-Defense Force cadre as analyzing that “China’s move is intended to show both at home and abroad that ‘the power of governance lies with the Chinese side.” Article V of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty stipulates defense obligations for “areas under Japanese administration.” The Japanese and U.S. governments agreed that the Senkaku Islands are subject to the treaty. But the former cadre pointed out that the Chinese side expects that if they continue to show that Japan has no power over the Senkaku, the United States will have difficulty intervening.

Kyodo News said that the situation around the Senkaku Islands, Okinawa prefecture’s position is “absolutely can not appear fishing boats can not operate the state of affairs”. But if tensions increase further, it may lead to untoward events. Prefectural officials said: “We will ask the Japanese government to always resolve the situation peacefully through dialogue.”