Not escaping Japan’s eye is China’s large-scale and rapid reclamation works and continued infrastructure developments on Fiery Cross Reef, Subi Reef, Mischief Reef, Johnson South Reef, Cuarteron Reef, Hughes Reef and Gaven Reef. AP

Japan worried over Chinese maritime expansion
Jaime Laude (The Philippine Star) - February 8, 2018 - 12:00am

TOKYO – While the Philippines appears to be taking China’s massive maritime expansion in the West Philippine Sea with a grain of salt, experts here are taking it seriously.

“There must be (balanced foreign relations here),” said Shin Kawashima, professor at Tokyo University Graduate School on Advanced Social and International Studies of Arts and Sciences, as he pointed out that China seems to be mixing security plans with its domestic and foreign economic policies.

Not escaping Japan’s eye is China’s large-scale and rapid reclamation works and continued infrastructure developments on Fiery Cross Reef, Subi Reef, Mischief Reef, Johnson South Reef, Cuarteron Reef, Hughes Reef and Gaven Reef.

All these artificial islands are located inside the Kalayaan Island Group although Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia are also laying claim over these areas.

Citing reports published by US think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies, other experts here noted that these facilities can accommodate combat aircraft or be used for intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and transport.

Japan’s monitoring showed that China has increased its combat patrol flights near Scarborough (Panatag) Shoal using its H-6K bombers in July and August 2016 and followed this up with the launch of joint exercises, the first in South China Sea, with Russia.

“Japan will not interfere with the affairs of other states. It is a matter of national policy. All it wants is to see these conflicts settled in the most peaceful and internationally binding way. It is very important to us,” Kawashima said.

Scarborough,  124 nautical miles or 241 kilometers from mainland Zambales, had for decades been a rich fishing ground for Filipinos, but is now under Beijing’s de facto control on the basis of its uncharted nine-dash maritime claim, from the vast waters of South China Sea to East China Sea.

“We are closely watching this,” another expert here said, as he urged all parties concerned to resolve their maritime disputes not by force but through internationally recognized and accepted norms and principles.

“We have a very strong interest in what is happening in the South China Sea,” the expert told a group of visiting journalists here from the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Australia, UK, France and Spain.

However, the expert said Japan’s concerns, specifically on what is happening at Scarborough, should not be interpreted as Tokyo’s interference in the affairs of other states, adding that Japan sees no problem if the Philippines’ leaning toward China is only aimed at economic gain.

“What will happen out there is really the least of our concerns. Our main concern is its effect on our own maritime and territorial domain as we share the common seas, being also a maritime state,” the expert added.

Philstar
Facebook
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with
Read and share the latest news
whenever and wherever you are.
Top Stories
Features the most relevant stories,
exclusive content, analyses and special reports.
As It Happens
Get bite-sized highlights and up-to-date
information as the news breaks.
Latest
View the most recent
stories of the day.
Log-in
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet,
consectetur adipiscing elit.
Quisque justo est, auctor vel ullamcorper.
Log-in
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet,
consectetur adipiscing elit.
Quisque justo est, auctor vel ullamcorper.
How to follow As It Happens stories
STEP 1
Click the story in the As it Happens section.
How to follow As It Happens stories
STEP 2
Click "Follow Story" for updates on the news.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam eu metus vitae felis tincidunt finibus ut id sapien. Integer volutpat dui eu malesuada dignissim. Sed varius justo nulla, fringilla convallis sem porta sed.
How to follow Author
STEP 1
Click on the author's name in the article.
How to follow Author
STEP 2
Once you click on the author's name, you will be
brought to the Authors page. Click "Follow Author"
to stay updated on the author's works
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam eu metus vitae felis tincidunt finibus ut id sapien. Integer volutpat dui eu malesuada dignissim. Sed varius justo nulla, fringilla convallis sem porta sed.
How to follow Tags
STEP 1
Click on a tag in the article.
How to follow Tags
STEP 2
When you click on a tag, it will take you to the
dedicated tag page where you'll see the article
viewed, along with other stories with that tag.

Click the "follow tag" button to stay updated on
the topic.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Aliquam eu metus vitae felis tincidunt finibus ut id sapien. Integer volutpat dui eu malesuada dignissim. Sed varius justo nulla, fringilla convallis sem porta sed.