September 25, 2012


Japanese Coast Guard cutters have intercepted Chinese fishing vessels and patrol boats making a run for the Senkaku islands and engaged them with watercannon.

However, the Chinese vessels were not PRC, they were ROC.

Yes, the REPUBLIC of China, better known as Taiwan, also lays claim to the islets. and a small task force of patriotic Taiwanese fishermen sallied forth to make sure that this unspeakable mess got even more complicated. Taiwanese patrol boats, which had been escorting the flotilla gave covering fire with their own watercannon.  It appears that no one was injured.

The Taiwanese fishermen are concerned because if the 200 mile EEZ around the islets is strictly enforced, they would loose the bulk of their fishing grounds. (The islands are just over a hundred miles from Taiwan. )

China Daily implies there was no intent to land, just a peaceful protest to assert fishing rights. However Want China Times says they expressly refused to rule it out..

China Post has been covering this since the protestors left Taiwan and has this to say..

Chen Chun-sheng, chairman of the Su'ao District Fishermen's Association, emphasised that the purpose of the operation is to protest Japan's "nationalisation” of the island chain and also to advocate the rights of Taiwanese fishermen. The operation was made possible with a NT$5 million (US$170,500) donation to subsidise fuel costs, Chen said.

(Emphasis added)

China Post link is via AMPOTAN, who has much more including  information on the individual who is suspected of chartering the fishing boats....a Taiwanese businessman who made his fortune on the mainland and who has (allegedly) been taking over Taiwanese media outlets and making them pro-PRC mouthpieces.

Taken by itself the Taiwan-Japan dispute is not too worrying and can likely be resolved with some fisheries treaty.   However, these things never happen in isolation and with Mainland China and Japan having such a high stakes dispute over the islets this becomes something of a spanner in the works.

In other news Korea is suddenly playing hardball with their erstwhile ally over a dispute involving  a completely different set of even more Godforsaken  rocks .

Interesting times...

UPDATE: I'm sure this means nothing. More (without the sensationalist headline) here.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 01:52 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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The JSDF, all branches, have never been in combat. No one knows just how good they'd be if the bullets started to fly.

But you'd have to be an idiot to bet on them being lousy.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Tue Sep 25 18:13:31 2012 (+rSRq)

2 The army was quite close though, since they were in Iraq (I only know about it because I had to explain to friends about that strange G3-lookalike they brought to the party). I know it's not the same thing as war with China, but still, some of them were shot at.

Posted by: Pete Zaitcev at Tue Sep 25 19:12:21 2012 (RqRa5)


But they weren't supposed to be in combat. It's actually against the constitution of Japan for any of its military forces to engage in combat outside of Japanese territory. (Germany's constitution includes the same provision.)

Even Japan's sending non-combatant formations to Iraq was extremely controversial back home in Japan.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Tue Sep 25 22:01:52 2012 (+rSRq)

4 It appears that any portion of the Japanese Constitution can be amended, including those that deal with the military.  However, Wikipedia says that no portion has been amended since it was enacted in 1947...

Posted by: Siergen at Tue Sep 25 22:18:11 2012 (Bv5ty)

5 I'm sure there isn't a constitution anywhere in the world which doesn't include an amendment process.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at Wed Sep 26 00:48:01 2012 (+rSRq)

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