By Yu Runze, Sina English
As China and Japan still at odds over the Diaoyu Islands dispute, Chinese surveillance ships have been patrolling in the waters off the Diaoyu Islands for nearly one month and show no signs of ceasing the activities. The persistent petrol may signal China’s coast guard forces to surpass that of Japan’s, Japanese media predicated.
As early as this summer, when the islands dispute hasn’t flared up, a report has been submitted to Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.
“Allowing the current situation develops, China’s coast guard forces could surpass that of Japan’s in 2 or 3 years,” said the report.
Based on this report, The Japanese government authorized an economic stimulus package, which will fund the Japan Coast Guard's spending on more patrol ships, boats and helicopters, accelerating its original procurement plan to strengthen patrol of the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan, which oversees the coast guard, is seeking 72 billion yen (925 million USD) in the package, including money for the coast guard to buy four 1,000-ton patrol vessels, three 30-meter long patrol boats and three helicopters that can fly in rough weather.
The additional hardware had been planned for orders under next fiscal year's budget, but the ministry decided to include it in the stimulus plan in light of recent maritime dispute with China, said Kyodo.
Japanese Coast Guard is responsible for the protection the coast-lines of Japan, including patrolling in “Japanese territorial waters and economic zones.” For its part, China’s State Oceanic Administration is mainly responsible for the supervision and management of sea area in the China.
And most of the surveillance ships spotted near the Diaoyu Islands belong to China’s State Oceanic Administration. Once Japanese ships sail into the Diaoyu waters, China’s surveillance ships will ask them to leave.
It is feared that, the Island patrol has developed into a war of attrition between the two sides.
China will not give up the island patrol until Japan admits territorial dispute exists over the Diaoyu Islands.
The head of China's Oceanic Administration has already made it clear that there is "no time limit" on Chinese patrol vessels sailing near the Diaoyu Islands.