Libmonster ID: JP-1247


MGIMO (U) of the Russian Foreign Ministry

Japan Keywords:Chinaterritorial disputeSenkaku/Diaoyu

A serious escalation of the Senkaku/Diaoyu conflict occurred in the early 2010s. Most of the incidents were related to the frequent entry of Chinese patrol vessels into the territorial waters and flights of aircraft into the airspace of these disputed islands.

A harbinger of heightened tensions came on June 10, 2008, when a 270-ton Taiwanese fishing boat collided with a Japanese patrol boat. All 16 crew members were flown to Taiwan, and the Japanese government said the Taiwanese ship's crew resisted screening. Taiwan and Japanese officials once again exchanged statements about sovereignty over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands.1 After the release of videos and photos taken by Taiwanese fishermen that showed that a Japanese Coast Guard ship deliberately crashed into a Taiwanese vessel, a Japanese official in Taipei apologized to the captain, and the Japanese government paid 10.5 million new Taiwanese dollars ($312.5 thousand) in damages.2 The incident seemed to end there. But this was only the beginning of the upcoming "sea battle" involving patrol vessels.


On September 7, 2010, a Chinese fishing trawler collided with two Japanese Coast Guard patrol ships 15 km off Senkaku / Diaoyu 3. The trawler was apprehended, and the Chinese captain and crew were arrested on charges of resisting arrest. So Tokyo showed a toughening of its position: previously detained sailors or activists were simply deported, as was the case with Taiwanese fishermen in 2008. The Minister of Public Lands, Infrastructure and Transport of Japan, S. Maehara, said that the collision occurred in Japanese territorial waters, which means that Chinese sailors will be tried in accordance with Japanese law4.

Tokyo initially did not attach much importance to the incident. This is not the first time that an official diplomatic protest of the PRC has been presented to the Japanese ambassador in Beijing, and mass anti-Japanese demonstrations have taken place in major cities of China.

But after the extension of the trawler captain's detention was announced on September 19, Beijing took tough retaliatory measures. On the same day, the suspension of the exchange of visits at the ministerial level with Japan was announced, employees of the Japanese firm Fujita were arrested on charges of illegally entering a Chinese military base, and the invitation for 1 thousand people was withdrawn. Japanese children have been banned from visiting the Shanghai EXPO, and cultural exchange events have been suspended. A few days later, the Chinese government temporarily imposed an embargo on the export of rare earth metals to Japan, without which its electronics industry cannot operate. On September 21, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao called the Diaoyu Islands an integral part of Chinese territory, and the detention of the Chinese ship's captain "illegal and unjustifiable." He warned that if the Japanese authorities do not immediately release the captain, the PRC will take decisive action. On September 24, the captain was released from custody, and a few days later, the Chinese Foreign Ministry demanded an apology and compensation from the Japanese side, and the Japanese Foreign Ministry issued a response request to the Chinese side for compensation for damage caused to Japanese Coast Guard vessels as a result of the collision. 5

Mass protests continued in China and Japan. Anti-Chinese demonstrations held in many major Japanese cities under nationalist slogans only reinforced the historical distrust of Chinese citizens towards Japan. In addition, Tokyo filed a complaint with Google, demanding that it remove the name Diaoyu from interactive world maps./Diaoyutai, to which the company refused, declaring its neutrality 6.

The extension of the detention of the captain of the Chinese ship, and then his release under pressure from Beijing, caused a discussion in Japan about the incompetence of Japanese diplomacy, the complex "loss of face" and the ineffectiveness of the "appeasement" strategy towards China. Nationalist politicians strongly criticized the actions of the Japanese authorities, saying that"if we do not take a firm position on the Senkaku issue, China will also take Okinawa from Japan." True, the basics-

Ending. For the beginning, see: Asia and Africa Today, 2013, No. 10.

* For more information, see: Rusakov EM. In captivity of patriarchalismand provincialism / / Asia and Africa today. 2010, No. 12 (editor's note).

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a large part of the Japanese population and the Japanese media supported the government's course 7.

After that, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said:: "With regard to the Senkaku Islands, the United States has never taken any position on sovereignty over the islands, but we have repeatedly made it clear that these islands are part of our mutual obligations under the treaty (security), as well as obligations to protect Japan." 8

As a result of these events, the government formed by the Democratic Party of Japan was forced, contrary to initial plans to weaken its dependence on Washington, to further strengthen the military-political alliance with the United States. In particular, in 2010, the Main Directions of the National Defense Program were approved, in which, along with the DPRK, China was also mentioned as a country whose actions cause instability in the security sphere in the region.9

Under the slogan of transforming the Japanese Self-Defense Forces into a "dynamic self-defense force", it was decided to deploy a contingent of 200 troops to Yenaguni Island, tasked with monitoring the activities of the Chinese navy in the East China Sea in the Senkaku/Diaoyu area.10 In addition, the medium-term defense development program for 2011-2015 involves the redeployment of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces to protect the southwestern part of Japan, closest to the East China Sea, and, in particular, the organization of an additional unit to monitor the southwestern coastal zone and the transfer of an additional squadron of F-15 fighters to the military base of the- a naval base in Okinawa, as well as the exchange of intelligence information with the United States 11.

These events caused a significant international response due to the manifestations of a more confident and tough foreign policy of China in general, including in the South China Sea, on the North Korean issue, and in relations with Japan and the United States12. According to a number of foreign experts, Beijing's growing rivalry with Japan was prompted by the strengthening of the PRC's economic power, which took second place in terms of nominal GDP during the global financial and economic crisis in 2010, and the strengthening of its military potential.13

At the same time, the detention of Chinese fishermen by the Japanese authorities and the intention to bring them to justice were seen in the PRC as a toughening of Tokyo's position and a violation of the Sino-Japanese consensus based on Deng Xiaoping's proposal not to exaggerate the significance of the disputed territorial issue and postpone its decision to the discretion of future generations, and World War II, including the return of Senkaku/Diaoyu to China 14. If the Chinese side allowed Japan to conduct a trial, this would automatically mean recognition of Japan's sovereignty over the island. And such an option would not only be incompatible with the principled position of the PRC, but would also demonstrate Beijing's foreign policy weakness. 15

As a result, Japan failed to strengthen its sovereignty over the islands, and its actions led to a deterioration of Sino-Japanese relations, while Beijing demonstrated its readiness to use a wide range of measures to prevent Tokyo from strengthening its position. 16 It is also noteworthy that the aggravation of bilateral relations was provoked by the Japanese side from the very beginning. in order to gain more explicit support from the United States on the disputed islands, thereby convincing its own population of the need to maintain American bases in Okinawa. 17

After the 2010 incident, it became apparent that the original policy of the first Prime Minister of the Democratic Party of Japan, Yu. Hatoyama, which was aimed at rapprochement with China, building an East Asian community and turning the East China Sea into a "sea of brotherhood", underwent significant changes under his successors, and China was perceived in Japan as a threat rather than a partner. 18

In the future, incidents related to the entry of Chinese and Taiwanese fishing and patrol vessels into the territorial waters of Senkaku/Diaoyu and the "violation" of airspace became more frequent. According to the Ministry of Defense of Japan, in 2011, Japanese military fighter jets were alerted to intercept Chinese aircraft 156 times, which is a record-

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house, compared to previous years (28 times in 2009 and 96 times in 2010) 19-


In 2012, the most significant escalation of the Senkaku/Diaoyu conflict in the entire post-war history of Sino-Japanese relations took place. It was caused by the decision of Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara to purchase three islands of the Senkaku/Diaoyu archipelago-Uotsuri, Kita and Minami - from a private citizen of Japan, Kunioka Kurihara, who bought them from the Koga family in the 1970s.

The Tokyo governor, who is known for his nationalistic statements, announced negotiations on this issue when speaking at a forum in Washington on April 16, 2012: "Tokyo will acquire Senkaku in order to protect Japanese territory." 20 He said that after the purchase, the metropolitan government will determine how the islands should be managed, offering to build a pier for fishing vessels and recreational facilities for fishermen. Meanwhile, the Japanese government, for a long time paying the Koga family about $270 thousand annually as rent, forbade the Japanese to land on these islands. Ishihara's statement was directed against Japanese Prime Minister Ye. Noda, who was accused by the Tokyo governor of failing to protect Japan's national interests and of being too "soft" on China.

The decision of the Tokyo governor caused harsh criticism from China and Taiwan. A representative of the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that any unilateral action by Japan cannot deny that the islands belong to China, and a representative of the Taiwanese Foreign Ministry called Ishihara's intention "absolutely unacceptable" 21.

July 7, 2018 Noda announced the government's plan to buy Senkaku. He assumed that this would prevent the Governor of Tokyo from acquiring them and implementing his projects for the economic use of the islands, and prevent a sharp protest from the Chinese.22 However, the Chinese Foreign Ministry immediately issued a statement that "no one is allowed to buy or sell sacred Chinese territory." 23

On August 15, a group of activists from Hong Kong managed to land on Uotsuri Island/They were detained by the Japanese Coast Guard and deported to the Diaoyu Islands to protest the Japanese government's plans. On August 18, 20 boats carrying 150 Japanese right-wing activists, organized by the nationalist group Gambare Nippon ("Japan, go!"), sailed to the disputed islands, and ignoring the calls of the coast guard not to disembark, 10 people swam to Uotsuri/Diaoyu and raised Japanese flags there. They returned to Okinawa a few hours later, and unlike the Hong Kong activists, they were not arrested. These events triggered the first wave of unprecedented mass demonstrations in China, covering more than 25 major cities. The protesters burned Japanese flags, shouted anti-Japanese slogans, and smashed Japanese restaurants. The police tried to prevent excessive violence, but mostly did not interfere in what was happening.24

On August 19, during the negotiations, Ye. Noda persuaded the Governor of Tokyo to abandon plans to buy the islands, assuring him that the Japanese government would do so. On September 9, 2012, during a meeting at the APEC Forum in Vladivostok, Chinese President Hu Jintao warned the Japanese Prime Minister that China was protesting against the purchase of the islands, as it considers them its territory. Two days later, on September 11, 2012, the Japanese Government decided during a meeting to include $ 2.05 billion needed for the purchase of the islands in the expenditure part of the 2012 budget. Japanese yen ($26 million) and signed a corresponding agreement with the owner of three islands of the Senkaku Group, thereby making an official decision on their purchase. At the same time, e. Noda promised not to carry out any economic activity on the islands.25

In response, on September 13, the Permanent Representative of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations, Li Baodong, presented the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, with a maritime navigation chart showing the baselines from which the Senkaku / Diaoyu Islands ' territorial sea is measured. 26 According to Chinese law, the adoption of baselines meant that these territories came under Chinese administrative control, and any Japanese actions in this territory will be considered an invasion of Chinese territory and a violation of the sovereignty of the PRC 27.

On September 14, six ships of the Chinese Coast Guard were sent to patrol the East China Sea in the disputed islands. On September 20, Beijing published geographic coordinates and a detailed map of the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands. On September 26, the Chinese Government released a White Paper titled "The Diaoyu Islands are an integral part of China's territory", detailing the official position of the PRC on its sovereignty over the islands. On September 17, Taiwan also published a " Collection of Historical Facts about Japan's Secret Illegal Occupation of the Diaoyutai Islands." According to analysts, the Chinese side regarded the nationalization of the islands by the Japanese Government as a violation of the status quo in bilateral relations.28 The purchase of the islands further worsened the situation that was already unacceptable from the PRC's point of view (Japanese control over the islands and Japan's denial of the very fact of a territorial dispute), although from the Japanese point of view it was not a question of sovereignty, but of property rights.29


On September 11, 2012, anti-Japanese riots broke out in China.

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On the weekend of September 15-16, mass protests against the decision of the Japanese government were held in more than 85 cities of the PRC, and on September 18, on the day of the 81st anniversary of the "Manchurian incident"*-in more than 180. Thousands of protest marches were accompanied by aggressive anti-Japanese slogans, calls for war with Japan, and boycotts of Japanese goods. Demonstrators carried Chinese flags and portraits of Mao Zedong and threw rocks and plastic bottles at the Japanese embassy, which was guarded by six lines of Chinese police. A large number of acts of vandalism were recorded against Japanese shops, restaurants and, which had not been observed before, against Japanese factories and factories. Many Japanese factories and stores (for example, car manufacturers Toyota, Honda, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Canon, Uniqlo) were forced to suspend their work and close for the duration of the demonstrations to avoid destruction. Chinese flags were pasted on Japanese restaurants, and Japanese cars were given flyers with slogans about Diaoyu being a Chinese territory.

Several hundred police officers were mobilized to protect the Japanese Embassy in Beijing and the consulate in Shanghai, forcing them to disperse crowds of protesters with tear gas. Chinese media described the events as a "natural reaction of popular anger", and the government barely intervened in the course of the protests.30

Calls to take part in the protests were distributed via the Weibo microblog, a Chinese hybrid of Twitter and Facebook, and the fact that the Chinese government initially took a wait-and-see attitude, and firmly stopped the anti-Japanese protests only on the eighth day - August 19-gave reason to believe that they, if not openly supported by the Chinese authorities, then at least, passed with their tacit consent. Some experts believe that the unrest was suppressed by Beijing because of fears that it could take on an anti-government character31. The initial wait-and-see reaction of the Chinese leadership is explained by the fact that in the run-up to the XVIII Congress of the Communist Party of China in November 2012, the authorities hoped to strengthen the legitimacy of the ruling party and rally Chinese society by increasing nationalist sentiment. And the rapid suppression of anti-Japanese protests could be regarded by the masses as a manifestation of the" unpatriotic "and" weak " leadership of the PRC. 32

US Secretary of Defense L. Panetta, who was on a visit to Japan at the time, called on the parties to refrain from provocations and use diplomatic channels for a peaceful resolution of the conflict. At the same time, he expressed concerns that the United States may be involved in the conflict. After meeting with him, Japanese Foreign Minister K. Gamba stated that there is a mutual understanding between Japan and the United States that the territory of the Senkaku Islands is covered by the Japan-US security Treaty.33

Anti-Japanese demonstrations have caused real damage to Sino-Japanese economic relations. Tourist trips to Japan (the Chinese segment accounts for approximately 30 to 40% of the tourist market) were canceled, which seriously affected the Japanese tourism industry.34 In Beijing, all books related to Japan or written by Japanese authors were removed from stores by order of the capital's government, and publishers were advised to refrain from publishing books on Japan. Many Japanese factories in China have held demonstrations demanding higher wages.35 The Japanese government estimates that losses from anti-Japanese demonstrations, temporary plant downtime, attacks on factories and stores, theft of Japanese goods, and anti-Japanese boycotts totaled about $100 million, while Japanese automobile manufacturers reported a decline in demand for Japanese automotive products (about 4 to 5% in 2012) .36 Concerns about anti-Japanese sentiment, calls for boycotts of Japanese goods, and the rising cost of labor in China are forcing many Japanese manufacturers to close their factories in China and move production to Southeast Asian countries.37

* The Manchurian Incident - the beginning of Japan's occupation of Manchuria (Northeast China) in 1931 (editor's note).

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Since September 19, 2012, six Chinese Coast Guard ships patrolling the East China Sea near Senkaku / Diaoyu have been joined by seven others, and a whole flotilla of approximately 700 to 1,000 fishing schooners (according to various estimates) have been fishing for several days in relative proximity (110 to 250 km) to the disputed islands. showing support for the position of the Chinese Government 38. 50 Japanese Coast Guard patrol ships were dispatched to the area to prevent Chinese patrol or fishing vessels from entering the Islands ' territorial waters. The Japanese media described this measure as an action of pressure 39.

At the same time, Taiwanese fishing boats with activists on board and ships of the Taiwanese Coast Guard began to appear off Senkaku/Diaoyu. 40 On September 25, about 40 Taiwanese fishing vessels accompanied by 8 Taiwanese patrol ships entered Senkaku/Diaoyu territorial waters. Japanese Coast Guard ships shot them with water cannons, and the Taiwanese flotilla returned home 41.

From September to December 2012, Chinese ships entered Japan's territorial waters near the islands more than 60 times.42 In September, Japan and the United States conducted joint exercises on Guam and other islands in the Pacific Ocean to improve skills in protecting remote islands43, and in October, China conducted exercises in the East China Sea consisting of 11 ships and 8 aircraft, aimed at practicing emergency actions "with the aim of 44. The increased frequency of Chinese patrol ships ' calls is seen by the Chinese side as a retaliatory measure aimed at demonstrating Chinese sovereignty over Senkaku/Diaoyu after Japan violated the status quo and thereby freed the PRC from the need to maintain it. According to foreign experts, China used the tactic of retaliatory tightening of its position, when after the nationalization of the islands by Japan, it decided to introduce baselines and significantly increase Chinese activity in the area of the disputed islands in order to prevent Japan's unilateral control over them and create a new status quo, suggesting competition for a presence in this territory. 45.

On December 13, 2012, for the first time in the entire Senkaku/Diaoyu conflict, a Y-12 reconnaissance aircraft belonging to the Chinese State Oceanic Administration entered the airspace over the disputed islands. In response, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force deployed two F-15 fighter jets and scrambled six more F-15 fighter jets and one E-2C long-range patrol aircraft from its base in Naha, Okinawa.

The Japanese government handed the Chinese Ambassador an official note of protest. Representatives of the PRC said that the Diaoyu Islands have been an integral part of China's territory since ancient times and the flight of a reconnaissance aircraft over them is legal.46

Meanwhile, the Japanese ground-based radar station on Miyako Island, located 200 km from the disputed islands, was unable to track the low-flying Chinese plane in time. For this reason, the Japanese Ministry of Defense decided to supplement the tracking radar stations already located at several bases in Okinawa Prefecture 47 with aircraft equipped with AWACS (on-board aircraft Long-range Radar detection and Warning System) or E2C48.

From April to December 2012, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force alerted aircraft more than 160 times, setting a new record (compared to 156 for the whole of 2011)49. As the nearest military base from which F-15 fighters are sent is located in Naha (Okinawa), 400 km from the city of Naha (Okinawa). In order to improve the radar detection system of Chinese aircraft, the Japanese Ministry of Defense is considering the possibility of deploying a new type of radar and fighter-interceptors on Shima Island, located 200 km from Senkaku / Diaoyu. 50.

On December 14, 2012, the Permanent Mission of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations submitted documents to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf with a proposal to delineate the outer limit of the continental shelf beyond the 200-mile sea zone in the East China Sea, which repeats the Chinese position that the natural extension of the continental shelf of the People's Republic of China extends to the Okinawan Trench. Accordingly, the demarcation map submitted by China to the UN shows that the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands are located on the Chinese continental shelf.51 In response, Tokyo sent a protest note to the UN secretariat, demanding that the Chinese proposal not be considered, since China cannot unilaterally set the limits of the continental shelf, and the delimitation of the maritime border requires the consent of both parties. 52


Despite the change of political leaders in both countries in late 2012 and early 2013, positions on Senkaku/Diaoyu remain irreconcilable.

Shinzo Abe, who came to power as a result of the victory of the Liberal Democratic Party in the December 2012 elections, visited the Yasukuni Shrine of those who died in the Japanese wars in October 2012 after being elected as the head of the party, and is known for his nationalist views.

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Chinese aircraft approach Senkaku/Diaoyu from the northwest to a distance of about 120 km, and after taking off from Japanese fighter-interceptors and receiving warnings from them, turn east towards the PRC.

views and a tough stance towards the PRC. He stated that "the Senkaku Islands are Japanese territory both historically and in accordance with international law" and the government will protect Japanese territory. Abe also blamed the anti-Japanese demonstrations in the summer and autumn of 2012 on the Chinese authorities, which allowed the demonstrations to get out of control and cause serious damage to Chinese society and Sino-Japanese economic relations, even though Japanese companies and their employees made a significant contribution to the development of the Chinese economy. 53

In a speech in the United States on February 22, 2013 entitled "Japan returns", Shinzo Abe, noting that from 1895 to 1971, no party claimed the Senkaku Islands, which are under Japanese sovereignty, said: "We simply will not tolerate any claims on them in the present or the future." At the same time, he described Sino-Japanese relations as one of the most important and called for maintaining "mutually beneficial relations based on strategic interests."54

New Chinese President Xi Jinping has also taken a firm stance. He stressed in a speech to the Politburo of the CPC Central Committee on January 28, 2013, that while China is committed to peaceful development, it will never give up its core national interests, bargain with any country over them, or allow any country to trample on its sovereignty, security,or development. 55

Sovereignty over the Diaoyu is considered a key national interest for China, and it is unclear how this position will be combined with the idea of peaceful development in the future, as well as how S. Abe's willingness to protect Senkaku is compatible with his desire to develop mutually beneficial Sino-Japanese relations based on the strategic interests of both countries.56

In this context, it is impossible not to pay attention to the concept of the "Chinese dream" put forward by Xi Jinping as a collective idea of reviving the Chinese nation, which has experienced many humiliations since the opium wars in the mid-19th century. Although Shinzo Abe has said that his door is always open to Chinese colleagues, Tokyo's desire to counter China's peaceful rise by strengthening the Japanese-American military alliance makes Sino-Japanese dialogue very difficult. According to experts, the American presence in the region and the Japanese-American alliance as part of it are becoming the main obstacle to the realization of the "Chinese dream" of reviving the great Chinese nation and creating a China-centric order in East Asia. 57 The Chinese claim to Senkaku/Diaoyu is also linked to the Chinese position on Taiwan. Although the claims of the People's Republic of China and Taiwan regarding the ownership of the islands are identical and the corresponding statements are made by them almost simultaneously throughout the history of the conflict, they have different subtexts. For Taiwan, this issue concerns its territorial integrity and sense of national pride, and the PRC considers the Diaoyu as part of Taiwan and justifies its claims to them by saying that the Diaoyu Islands are part of Taiwan. Taiwan is an integral part of the PRC. In this regard, any concessions to Japan on the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands may not only negatively affect China's claims to these islands, but also jeopardize its policy towards Taiwan.58 It is no coincidence that after the decision of the Mayor of Tokyo to purchase the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in April 2012, officials of the Republic of China in Taiwan rejected the proposal of the PRC to jointly resolve this dispute. Taiwan's Minister of Mainland Affairs Lai Shinyuan said that Taiwan does not intend to cooperate on this issue, because, according to the Taiwanese position, there are differences between Taiwan and mainland China over the sovereignty of Taiwan itself. Taipei insists on its sovereignty over the Diaoyu (taiv. - Tiaoyutai), as well as the Spratly Islands (Nansha) in the South China Sea 59.

In March 2013, Taiwanese officials did say that Taiwan and mainland China should put aside their differences and jointly confront the Japanese threat to sovereignty.-

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flying China over the islands 60. However, Beijing was sharply dissatisfied with the conclusion of the Japan-Taiwan agreement in April 2013, under which Taiwanese fishermen were granted the right to fish in the waters surrounding Senkaku (Diaoyu) (but outside the 12-mile territorial zone around the islands).*. At the same time, the Japanese Government rejected the proposal of Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou to postpone the issue of Senkaku/Diaoyu ownership and hold trilateral talks on Senkaku/Diaoyu and, with the participation of the PRC, "start a dialogue on the possibility of sharing resources" around the islands.61

In Washington, the National Defense Authorization Act for 2013, passed by both Houses of Congress, included a clause on the situation around the Senkaku Islands. This document reaffirmed the basic principles that the United States does not take any position on sovereignty over the islands, but respects its obligations to protect territories under Japanese administrative control in accordance with article V of the security treaty. To reinforce this position, a provision was added to the law stating that any unilateral action by a third party would not affect the US recognition that the Senkaku are under Japanese administrative control. 62 Experts note that Washington made this decision because of the frequent appearance of Chinese ships and aircraft in the area of the disputed islands, which can be interpreted as an attempt by China to demonstrate its administrative control over them. Inaction by the United States could lead to more active actions by the PRC.63

On January 18, 2013, after talks with Japanese Foreign Minister F. Kishida, outgoing US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reiterated:: "Although the United States does not take any position on the issue of ultimate sovereignty over the islands, we recognize that they are under the administrative control of Japan. We oppose any unilateral action that could endanger the administration of Japan." Washington reiterated its readiness to defend Japan if an armed conflict breaks out around the islands, calling on the parties to resolve the issue peacefully. Thus, for the first time, the United States has clearly expressed its opposition to attempts to change the Senkaku/Diaoyu status quo. 64 Not surprisingly, this statement has drawn harsh criticism from the Chinese side.

At the same time, the United States has concerns about the threat of a military confrontation over the disputed islands. The Commander of the US Pacific Fleet, Admiral S. Haney, expressed concern that the claims of rivals to the islands in the East China and South China Seas create numerous conflict situations and may lead to serious miscalculations. In this regard, there were doubts in Japan that the United States would support Japan in the event of a Sino-Japanese military conflict over Senkaku / Diaoyu 65.

Although a number of diplomatic initiatives aimed at reducing tensions around the disputed islands were launched in early 2013, they did not lead to any results. On the contrary, in February 2013, the Japanese Ministry of Defense accused the Chinese Navy of targeting a Japanese helicopter and a destroyer of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Forces during the January 19 and 30 incidents involving Chinese ships entering Senkaku/Diaoyu territorial waters. Tokyo has submitted an official protest to the Chinese Foreign Ministry and Ministry of Defense.66 Representatives of the Chinese Foreign Ministry called the Japanese accusations "falsification".

The Chinese side also expressed concern that Japan, instead of sitting down at the negotiating table, has increased the number of its reconnaissance and warships, which leads to an escalation of the conflict. 67

Regular visits of Chinese patrol ships and aircraft to the territorial waters and airspace of Senkaku/Diaoyu continue.

One of the most serious incidents occurred on April 23, 2013, when eight Chinese ships entered the territorial waters of the islands at once, and more than 40 Chinese military aircraft approached the islands, which were intercepted by Japanese F-1568 fighters. In April 2013, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe promised to use force if representatives of the PRC tried to land on the disputed islands of Japan, and in June the Sankei Shimbun newspaper reported that the Japanese Defense Ministry was starting to develop its own 400 - 500 km ballistic missiles, which are planned to be deployed on Okinawa to prevent a possible invasion on Senkaku from the PRC. If the project is successfully implemented, the Japanese Self-Defense Forces will be equipped with ballistic missiles for the first time: until now, Japan did not have long-range offensive weapons, including bombers and aircraft carriers.70 At the same time, on a small island off the California coast of the United States, the US-Japanese naval exercise "Attack at Dawn" was held, during which it was simulated to repel the attack of Chinese troops on Senkaku / Diaoyu 71.

On July 9, 2013, the Defense of Japan White Paper was published.

In a foreword, Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera noted: "The security situation in Japan is increasingly deteriorating due to provocative actions such as the launch of a missile... and the conduct of a nuclear test by North Korea, and the rapid expansion and

* For more information, see: Gordeeva I. V. Japan-China-USA and the Taiwan problem / / Asia and Africa Today. 2013, No. 6 (editor's note).

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Increased Chinese activity in the waters and airspace around Japan, including incursions into its territorial waters and airspace. In this situation, in order to protect the lives and property of our people and defend our territory, sea waters and air space, the Government has decided for almost the first time in the last 11 years to increase defense spending in order to strengthen our defense capability. In addition, we have begun intensive work to review the Main Directions of the National Defense Program during this year. " 72 Military spending increased by 40 billion yen in fiscal 2013 (as of April 1), reaching 4,734 trillion yen (about $48.13 billion).73

A harsh reaction immediately followed from China. Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Geng Yangsheng rejected " baseless accusations about China's legitimate actions to protect national sovereignty and attempts to quarrel with neighboring countries," which "highlight dangerous plans to slander China and the Chinese military." He stressed that the illegal "purchase" of part of the Diaoyu Islands by the Japanese Government was "a gross violation of sovereignty and territorial integrity and led to tension in relations between the two countries." The Chinese representative advised the Japanese side to "reflect on its aggressive history, make a choice in favor of peaceful development, and win the trust of its Asian neighbors with concrete actions." 74

On July 23, 2013, in order to "protect the country's sovereignty over territorial waters", the Maritime Police Department of the People's Republic of China was established, and two days later its ships entered the territorial waters of the disputed islands. In 2013, by the beginning of August, there were 55 incidents of this kind.75

According to foreign experts, Tokyo's trump card in the competition for the islands was the launch in August 2013 of the largest Japanese warship - the Izumo helicopter carrier-since World War II.

* * *

Until the late 2000s, the Governments of China and Japan made efforts to de-escalate the intermittent tension around Senkaku/Diaoyu. However,it is not an exaggeration to note that the events of 2010 and, especially, 2012 have increased the current degree of tension around Senkaku/Diaoyu.

Tokyo believes that China is stepping up pressure and seeking to reinforce its claim to sovereignty over the island with military force. Japan's Self-Defense Forces have expanded their presence in the Senkaku/Diaoyu area. This reduces the risk of provocation by ordinary fishing schooners or nationalist activists, but, on the other hand, increases the risk of military incidents due to an accidental mistake or misunderstanding.76 Past military exercises and incidents involving Chinese radars targeting Japanese patrol ships in early 2013 show signs of a gradual escalation of the conflict over the islands into a military phase.

Many researchers note that the economic interests and close economic cooperation of the two countries (China is Japan's main trading partner, while Japan ranks second in China's foreign trade and remains one of the main sources of investment) served as a deterrent to military clashes in the disputed islands. However, this has not helped to reduce tensions, meaning that Sino-Japanese close economic ties alone cannot prevent conflict.

The changing configuration of forces in East Asia, namely, China's economic rise and military modernization in a stable political system against the backdrop of Japan's economic difficulties and political instability in recent years, leads to the fact that China's position is strengthening, and Japan is becoming more economically dependent on China. Thus, the position of the PRC in the aggravation of the territorial dispute is strengthened, and the growing nationalist sentiment in both countries increases the likelihood of an escalation of the conflict.

U.S. involvement in this conflict raises the stakes and makes it one of the most pressing security concerns in East Asia. The United States is not interested in a possible political rapprochement between China and Japan, but at the same time it is not interested in an excessive escalation of tension between them, as this draws them into a potential military conflict around Senkaku/Diaoyu.77 Washington is maneuvering to strengthen its military alliance with Japan as part of its "return to Asia" strategy, while simultaneously using its influence on Tokyo to prevent a military scenario of the conflict.

Summing up the complex situation that has developed as a result of the Sino-Japanese territorial dispute, American Professor I. Buruma melancholically notes:: "In short, everything is back to normal: Pax Americana (American peace) is holding China back, and Japan is destined to become a loyal vassal of Washington. From the American point of view, this situation seems stable, even comfortable. In fact, it is not. For a long time, the Chinese put up with the fact that the United States acted as the gendarme of East Asia, because the prospect of strengthening Japan's independence, its complete remilitarization and, especially, its transformation into a nuclear power would be even worse. But using Japan as an instrument of American domination, while Japanese nationalists compensate for their servility with bellicose rhetoric, will be a source of further tension. And this is bad for everyone, including the United States. " 78

page 25

At the same time, both sides are interested in ensuring that the situation around Senkaku/Diaoyu does not get out of control. April 26, 2013 the first meeting of high-ranking military officials since the beginning of the conflict was held, aimed at finding a way out of the crisis.79 In July 2013 First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan A. Saiki visited Beijing, and the parties agreed to continue the dialogue on Sino-Japanese relations. However, an agreement on holding a high-level meeting has been reached so far. Beijing insists that Japan recognize the existence of a territorial dispute, and Tokyo opposes any preconditions 80.

According to experts of the International Crisis Prevention Group, statements by the leaders of China and Japan about the need to prevent a military conflict and attempts to establish bilateral relations still leave hope that the worst-case scenarios can be avoided. 81

1 Mainiti shimbun. 11.06.2008.

2 The China Post. 18.06.2008; Taipei Times. 8.12.2008.

3 Jiji tsushin Agency. 7.09.2010.

Haruki W. 4 Resolving the China-Japan Conflict over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands // The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus. 25.10.2010.

5 Ibidem; McCormack G. Small Islands - Big Problem: Senkaku/ Diaoyu and the Weight of History and Geography in China-Japan Relations // The Asia-Pacific Journal! 3.01.2011. Vol. 9, Issue 1, N 1.

6 On Google maps, the disputed islands appear under all three names: Senkaku Islands / Diaoyudao Islands / Diaoyutai Islands.

McCormack G. 7 Op. cit.

Manyin A.M. 8 Senkaku (Diaoyu/Diaoyutai) Islands Dispute: U.S. Treaty Obligations // CRS Report for Congress. 22.01.2013.

9 National Defense Program Guidelines. Approved 17.12.2010, p. 4 -http://www.mod.go.Jp/e/d_act/d_policy/pdf/guidelinesFY2011.pdf

10 Yomiuri shimbun. 9.11.2010.

11 Mid-Term Defense Program (2011 - 2015). Approved 17.12.2010, p. 2 - 3, 11 - http://www.mod.go.Jp/e/d_act/d_poIicy/pdf/mid_term FY2011-15.pdf

Christensen T.J. 12 The Advantages of an Assertive China: Responding to Beijing's Abrasive Diplomacy // Foreign Affairs. March/April 2011.

Amako S. 13 The Senkaku Islands incident and Japan-China relations // East Asia Forum. 25.10.2010.

McCormack G. 14 Op. cit.

Haruki W. 15 Op. cit.

O'Shea P. 16 Sovereignty and the Senkaku/Diaoyu territorial dispute // EUS, Stockholm School of Economics. Working Paper 240, September 2012, p. 23.

Hagstrom L. 17 'Power Shift' in East Asia? A Critical Reappraisal of Narratives on the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands Incident in 2010 // The Chinese Journal of International Politics. Vol. 5, 2012, p. 267 - 297.

Rathus J. 18 Senkaku/Diaoyutai Islands: Has China lost Japan? // East Asia Forum. 19.10.2010.

19 The Asahi Shimbun. 26.04.2012.

20 Sankei nyusu. 17.04.2012.

21 The Guardian. 19.04.2012.

22 The Asahi Shimbun. 5.09.2012.

23 Reuters. 8.07.2012.

24 The Japan Times. 20.08.2012.

25 Yomiuri shimbun. 11.09.2012; The Daily Yomiuri. 13.09.2012.

26 Xinhua. 25.09.2012.

27 Dangerous Waters: China-Japan Relations on the Rocks. International Crisis Group Asia Report N 245, 8 April 2013, p. 11.

Lee I., Ming F. 28 Deconstructing Japan's Claim of Sovereignti over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands // The Asia-Pacific Journal. 31.12.2012. Vol 10, Issue 53, No. 1.

29 Dangerous Waters.., p. 6.

30 Reuters. 16.09.2012; NPR. 16.09.2012; Asahi shimbun. 18.09.2012.

31 The Guardian. 18.09.2012.

Gahusi G. 32 The Senkaku/Diaoyu dispute: can China and Japan trust one another? // East Asia Forum. 03.11.2012.

33 The Guardian. 17.09.2012; NPR. 16.09.2012; Asahi shimbun. 18.09.2012.

34 CNN. 17.09.2012.

35 The Asahi Shimbun. 22.09.2012.

36 Asahi shimbun. 13.11.2012; The Guardian. 11.01.2013.

37 Reuters. 23.10.2012.

38 The Japan Daily Press. 17.09.2012.

39 The Asahi Shimbun. 20.09.2012.

40 Ibid. 22.09.2012.

41 NHK. 25.09.2012.

42 The Daily Yomiuri. 15.12.2012.

43 The Wall Street Journal. 24.09.2012.

44 BBC. 19.10.2012.

45 Dangerous Waters.., p. 13 - 14.

46 Jiji tsushin Agency. 14.12.2012; The Guardian. 13.12.2012.

47 There are three radar stations located in southwestern Japan: on the island of. Okinawa, on Kume Island (100 km west of Kume Island). Okinawa) and Miyako Island (300 km west of Okinawa). Okinawa and 400 km east of the Taiwanese capital Taipei).

48 The Guardian. 13.12.2012; The Dailv Yomiuri. 15.12.2012.

49 Asahi shimbun. 25.01.2013.

50 The Daily Youmiuri. 28.01.2013.

51 People's Daily Online. 15.12.2012.

52 Nihon keizai shimbun. 29.12.2012.

53 The Guardian. 11.01.2013.

54 "Japan is Back". Policy Speech by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) // Prime Minister of Japan Web-site. 22.02.2013 -

55 Xinhua. 29.01.2013.

Richardson M. 56 No winners in a conflict over the Senkaku Islands // The Japan Times. 05.02.2013.

Soeya Y. 57 How can Japan navigate the Senkaku dispute and China's rise?// East Asia Forum. 10.03.2013.

Pan Z. 58 Sino-Japanese Dispute over the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands: The Pending Controversy from the Chinese Perspective // Journal of Chinese Political Science. 2007. Vol. 12. No. 1, p. 86.

59 Radio Taiwan International. 26.012012.

60 Xinhua. 27.03.2013.

61 ITAR-TASS. 6.06.2013.

62 National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 -

Manyin A.M. 63 Op. cit., p. 9.

64 KyodoNews. 18.01.2013.

Richardson M. 65 Op. cit.

66 Asahi shimbun. 05.02.2013.

67 Xinhua. 8.03.2013.

68 Sankei nyusu. 27.04.2013.

69 Japan Daily Press. 23.04.2013.

70 ITAR-TASS. 26.06.2013.

71 RT. 27.06.2013.

72 National Defense 2013. Ministry of Defense of Japan. 9.07.2013 -http://www.mod.go.Jp/e/publ/w_papcr/2013.html

73 Ibid.

74 Chinese military lashes out at Japanese defense report // Xinhua, 12.07.2013- htm

75 ITAR-TASS. 3.08.2013.

Hamilton W. 76 Japan and China's standoff in the East China Sea // East Asia Forum. 11.12.2012.

Smith P.J. 77 The Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands Controversy: Much More than a Territorial Dispute // China-US Focus. 4.10.2012 - morc-than-a-territorial-dispute/

Buruma Ian. 78 A Dangerous rift between China and Japan. As the U.S. urges restraint, Asia's two great powers play politics with the past and court a crisis // The Wall Street Journal, 11.05.2013.

79 The Asahi Shimbun. 27.04.2013.

80 Japan Times. 29.07.2013.

81 Dangerous Waters.., p. 50.


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