While most of the world’s attention on the rising tensions of rights to the resources of the China Seas and the Sea of Japan has focused on the conflict between China and Japan, another front is also heating up.
A planned Monday visit to a disputed site by South Korean legislators has upped the tension between that Seoul and Tokyo.
From The Japan Times:
Kenji Kanasugi, director-general of the Foreign Ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, phoned a minister at the South Korean Embassy in Tokyo and said the plan is regrettable and totally unacceptable in light of Japan’s position on the sovereignty of the islands.
The rocky islets, called Takeshima in Japan and Dokdo in South Korea, are controlled by Seoul but claimed by Tokyo.
A Japanese diplomat in Seoul also protested to Chung Byung-won, director-general of the South Korean Foreign Ministry’s Northeast Asian Affairs Bureau.
According to South Korean media reports, both ruling party and opposition lawmakers are planning to make the visit on Monday, the 71st anniversary of the Korean Peninsula’s liberation from Japanese colonial rule.
UPDATE: Japan makes an escalation of its own
With the Obama administration backing the rearming of Japan, the first American government to do so since World War II, Japan has been ramping up its armed forces, and now it’s making a provocative move directly aimed at at China.
From the Yomiuri Shimbun:
The government intends to develop a new surface-to-ship missile for reinforcing the defense of remote islands, including the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.
The government aims to deploy the missile, which will have a maximum range of 300 kilometers, on Miyakojima and other major islands of the Sakishima islands. This will put the territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands within its range.
Funding for the development will be included in the Defense Ministry’s initial budget requests for fiscal 2017. The government aims to deploy the missiles around fiscal 2023.