Military tension between China and Japan escalates
The territorial dispute between China and Japan is taking on an increasingly militaristic tone.
The Japan Self-Defense Forces held a military review near Tokyo on Sunday, featuring some 4-thousand troops and hundreds of armored vehicles and fighter jets.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attended the ceremony and emphasized the importance of a strong Self-Defense Forces.
"Security threats against Japan are becoming real, including the threat posed by North Korea's ballistic missiles."
So while it may seem North Korea is the reason behind Japan's push to strengthen its military capability, watchers say Abe's comments are actually aimed at China.
Abe reiterated that he will exercise the right to collective self-defense, even if it means a review of the government's constitutional interpretation.
On Saturday, the Chinese government angrily responded to a Japanese media report which said Abe had approved a plan to shoot down any foreign drones that ignored warnings to leave Japanese airspace.
"If Japan does what it said and resorts to enforcement measures like shooting down aircraft, that is a serious provocation to us, it is an act of war. We will surely undertake decisive action to strike back."
In protest against Tokyo's latest moves, China sent four military jets to waters near Okinawa for three straight days from Friday to Sunday.
Japan scrambled fighter jets in response.
It's not only Beijing that's unhappy about Japan's right to collective self-defense.
South Korea has voiced concern Tokyo could expand its military presence to the Korean peninsula without any approval from Seoul in case of a contingency involving North Korea.
This is because the South defines North Korea as its territory under the constitution, while Japan sees the North as a seperate sovereign state.
The South Korean government has reportedly asked Washington to make it clear to Japan that it needs to seek approval from Seoul on issues related to its sovereignty and the Korean peninsula.
Eoh Jin-joo, Arirang News.
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