The new Japan Self-Defense Forces base is on the island of Yonaguni, about 150 kilometers (90 miles) south of the disputed islands known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.
“Until yesterday, there was no coastal observation unit west of the main Okinawa island. It was a vacuum we needed to fill,” said Daigo Shiomitsu, commander of the new base. “It means we can keep watch on territory surrounding Japan and respond to all situations.” Continue reading
East Asia is trapped in a vicious cycle of escalating tensions, with China’s rising power giving Japanese hawks legitimacy in their bid to bolster the military — exactly what Beijing says it fears.
“This is a battle about pride,” said Takehiko Yamamoto, international security professor at Japan’s Waseda University. “I cannot, for now, see there being any compromises.” Continue reading