According to Japanese media, Japan's Self-Defense Forces have scrambled fighter jets against China's military aircraft, including fighter jets, which flew to the Diaoyu Islands. It was the first time that military aircraft from both China and Japan confronted each other over the Diaoyu Islands. All of East Asia is now facing intense uncertainty.
Thanks to Japan's arrogance toward China, the Diaoyu Islands dispute has come to this point. Japanese politicians, including Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara and former prime minister Yoshihiko Noda, are to blame.
China and Japan may stand at a turning point that leads to confrontation. The resentment toward each other has come to the highest level since World War II. The Sino-Japanese relationship is looking dim.
Japan has mistakenly estimated China's strategic stance toward constant external provocations. A year ago, Japanese politicians wouldn't have thought that China would send fighter jets.
Some Japanese believed China had to be restrained at any costs to ensure a peaceful period of strategic opportunities. But the fighter jets yesterday proved them wrong.
How far the Diaoyu crisis goes depends on whether Japan is just putting on a show by intercepting China's military aircraft or it really wants to confront China. If it chooses the latter, then it is choosing a military clash.
Chinese society is tired of simple verbal protests toward Japan. The Chinese people hope the country will carry out actions against Japan's provocations. China's sending fighter jets to the islands reflects Chinese public opinion.
A military clash is more likely. We shouldn't have the illusion that Japan will be deterred by our firm stance. We need to prepare for the worst.
China and Japan are likely to become long-term rivals or even enemies. Japan has become the vanguard of the US' strategy which aims to contain China.
Chinese society should reach consensus on a number of issues. First, China should firmly respond to any Japanese provocation. It won't be the initiator of the war, but it shouldn't be hesitant to take military revenge. Meanwhile, it will not take the lead in escalating the war, nor will it be afraid of any escalation. Last, but not least, China's strategic aim is to make Japan accept China's current position on the Diaoyu Islands, rather than extend the crisis to disputes over historical issues.
China should have the courage to face military confrontations with any rival when provoked. At the same time, we should remain cool-headed.
China and Japan have been cooperating in trade and other economic fields. We should try not to let political confrontations affect business. This will minimize China's losses, which conforms to China's overall interest and would help the nation gain support from the public in any confrontation.
The Diaoyu crisis is a test of China's unity in the Internet era. China's strength has enabled it to take countermeasures against Japan and face any uncertainty. This requires society to remain united.
China scrambles J-10 fighter to monitor Japanese planes
A Chinese military plane Y-8 was tracked by two Japanese J-15 fighter jets when it was on a routine patrol over an area, east of Wenzhou, southwest of the East China Sea gas field, Xinhua news reported Friday, citing information with the Ministry of National Defense.
China military scrambles two J-10 fighter jets to monitor the Japanese aircraft after they were detected.
Military planes on "routine flights" over East China Sea
A Foreign Ministry spokesman said Friday that Chinese military planes were on "routine flights" in relevant airspace over the East China Sea.
Spokesman Hong Lei made the remarks at a press briefing in response to media reports that Japan sent fighter jets to head off a number of Chinese military planes spotted in Japan's "air defense identification zone" over the East China Sea on Thursday.
"China firmly opposes Japan's moves to gratuitously escalate the situation and create tensions," Hong said.
Relations between Japan and China have soured since the Japanese government said it would "purchase" part of the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea in 2012. China insists that the islands are part of its inherent territory.
Abe: Sovereignty over disputed isles "not negotiable"
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told a press conference Friday morning that the Chinese government is totally "wrong" on the territorial dispute over Diaoyu Islands and reiterated the issue is not “negotiable”.
"It was wrong as a country responsible to the international community to (allow) damage to Japanese-affiliated companies and Japanese nationals in order to achieve a political goal," Abe was quoted as saying.
At the same time, Abe said he hopes to improve ties with China, saying that attacks on Japanese businesses and people in China "not only harm the two countries' bilateral ties but also inflict significant negative damage on China's economy and its society."
The relationship between Japan and China has been strained since Japan purchased some of the Diaoyu Islands in September last year. The row caused anti-Japanese protests to break out across China, some becoming violent.
While stressing Japan's "resolute stance" to protect the islands, Abe said he aims to boost security and economic cooperation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
He is set to visit Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia next week for his first overseas tour since regaining the premiership in late December.
"My visit to the ASEAN countries will be crucially important," Abe said. "Promoting ties between Japan and ASEAN countries will contribute to the region's stability."
Abe said he will take the trip as an opportunity to convey "his ideas on foreign policy toward Asia."
The premier's visit will follow Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida's tour of three Southeast Asian nations -- the Philippines, Singapore and Brunei -- as well as Australia.
On the relationship with South Korea, with which Japan also has conflicting sovereignty claims over a group of islets, Abe said he wants to "build a relationship of trust as early as possible" with President-elect Park Geun Hye.
Japan to create “full-time team” for Diaoyus patrol
The Japan Coast Guard will create a team of several hundred officers to focus on guarding waters around the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea, Kyodo News Agency reported, citing sources close to the coast guard.
The team, to be based at the 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, will be equipped with more than 10 patrol boats to provide greater security from April 2015, the sources said.
The coast guard plans to request a budgetary outlay for construction of six patrol boats for the team as part of the fiscal 2012 supplementary budget, they said.
It decided to set up the new team due to concerns that the frequent deployments of its patrol ships in the waters may keep the coast guard from engaging in usual duties such as rescuing people in the event of maritime accidents and that the tense standoff with Chinese ships will continue, they said.