Japan launched two 1,500-ton cutters last month that will be deployed in late October to defend the country’s administration of the disputed Diaoyutai (Senkaku or Diaoyu) islands, at a time when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is seeking an official meeting with Chinese president Xi Jinping during the APEC summit in Beijing next month, according to the Tokyo-based Asahi Shimbun.
The report said the Taketomi and Nagura were launched in late September and will start service in the East China Sea in late October. Japan plans to construct 10 ships like the Taketomi and Nagura at a total coast of US$104 million in the space of two years.
From September 2012, when Japan nationalized the disputed islands claimed also by China and Taiwan, Chinese maritime security vessels and aircraft began routine patrols in the area. As of September 2014, 320 Chinese coast guard ships have entered the disputed waters on 95 occasions.
Full article: Japan builds two cutters to defend Diaoyutai as Abe seeks Xi meeting (Want China Times)