Japan Watches Russian Military Bases on Kurils

Russia has announced plans to build five military bases, including one on the Kuril Islands. The Soviet Union seized the islands from Japan at the end of World War II. The proposed bases are a small part of Russian efforts to increase and protect trade with Asian economies.

Both Japan and Russia know the importance of the Kurils. The islands are near waters commonly used by trade ships. Underground reserves of oil and natural gas increase the value of the islands. The fishing grounds are also good. Continue reading

China Holds Landing Exercises in Disputed Seas

BEIJING (AP) — China’s increasingly powerful navy paid a symbolic visit to the country’s southernmost territorial claim deep in the South China Sea this week as part of military drills in the disputed Spratly Islands involving amphibious landings and aircraft.

The four-ship task force is headed next to the Pacific Ocean for deep-sea exercises via the Bashi Channel separating Taiwan and the Philippines, Xinhua said. Continue reading

China sends ships back to waters off disputed Japanese-controlled islands

The four maritime surveillance ships entered the waters shortly after 12.30pm (3.30am GMT), Japan’s coastguard said in a statement, adding that it was telling the ships to leave the area.

“Patrol ships from our agency have been telling them to sail outside of our territorial waters. There has not been any response” from the Chinese ships, the agency said. Continue reading

UK warns Argentina regarding the Falklands

Prime Minister David Cameron’s spokesman Steve Field said it was “very sad that Argentina continues with their approach of confrontation, not cooperation.”

Argentina has become increasingly assertive over its claims to the islands that it calls the Malvinas, as well as the British-held South Georgia and South Sandwich islands. At stake are not only the islands, but also rich fishing grounds and potential undersea gas and oil reserves in the surrounding seas.

Cameron insists London will not enter negotiations on the sovereignty of the islands. He has said the people of the Falklands must decide their own future and claims Argentina has taken a colonialist approach to the islands’ residents.

Full article: UK warns Argentina regarding the Falklands (AP)