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Japan to step up patrolling near Senkaku Islands amid rising Chinese assertiveness

ANI | Updated: Jan 06, 2023 19:13 IST

Tokyo [Japan], January 6 (ANI): Japan is set to ramp up patrolling of its territorial waters amid the increasing presence of Chinese vessels in and around the waters near the Senkaku Islands, known as the Diaoyu islands in China.
The Fumio Kishida government has developed a policy to boost the country's Coast Guard capabilities, including patrolling its waters by ship and aircraft, Japan's NHK World reported. The Japanese media said this development follows an increase in China's maritime activities last year near the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture.
The Senkaku Islands are a group of islands in the East China Sea. They are located northeast of Taiwan, east of China, west of Okinawa Island, and north of the southwestern end of the Ryukyu Islands. Japan maintains they are an inherent part of its territory. Meanwhile, China and Taiwan also claim these islands.
According to NHK, Chinese government ships last month navigated Japanese waters in the area for more than 72 hours. The report added that it is the longest-ever continued intrusion of its kind since the Japanese government purchased some of the islands from a private Japanese owner in 2012.
In December, the Japanese government approved a draft budget for the next fiscal year for a record 114,38 trillion yen (USD 862 billion) with a record-high defence budget in the amount of 6.8 trillion yen.

Japan's military spending amounted to 5 .4 trillion yen in 2022, which is about 1.24 per cent of GDP, Kyodo news agency reported.
The growth of the defence budget is connected with the government's decision to ensure an increase in defence spending to 2 per cent of the country's gross domestic product by 2027, which is approximately 11 trillion yen per year.
Japan is finding itself in the midst of the most severe and complex security environment since the end of WWII with mounting threats from China and North Korea.
Japan has responded with what they call a "major shift" in defence policy. The new strategy does away with decades of precedent to acquire counter-strike capabilities, with a special focus on a free and open Indo-Pacific (FOIP).
Japan is planning to build a multilayered network among its allies and like-minded countries, expand it, and strengthen deterrence. (ANI)