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Japan Dials Up Pressure on China Over Southeast Asian Sea

Warfare exercises in the disputed South China Sea over the past two months reveal a sustained, long-term escalation of Japanese activity in a region where Tokyo has strategic interests that include keeping Beijing in check. In September a Japanese submarine, helicopter carrier and two destroyers explored the sea contested by six governments, with China the most militarily powerful. The exercise is part of a two-month initiative called Indo Southeast Asia Deployment 2018, designed to promote “interoperability with our partner navies,” the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force says on its website. Then, on Monday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to work with Vietnam on security in the South China Sea. Two days earlier his forces had held a beach-storming drill with their counterparts in the Philippines. Japan lacks a claim to the South China Sea, a 3.5 million-square-kilometer waterway stretching from Hong Kong to Borneo, as Vietnam and the Philippines do. But it wants to keep shipping lanes and other resource channels open, while muting China’s growing control that includes artificial islands for military infrastructure. Tokyo, a U.S. ally, also vies with Beijing in a separate dispute over the East China Sea. “Clearly Japan wants to send a message to Beijing that China doesn’t get to do anything it wants in the South China Sea,” said Jeffrey Kingston, history instructor at Temple University Japan. “They are forging relationships with other nations in the region, conducting joint naval exercises, all of this to in a way show Beijing that we are not going to just let you claim the South China Sea as Lake China.” “These exercises are going to become the new norm,” he said. ​Trend of escalation  Japan started intensifying ties in Southeast Asia, including to countries around the South China Sea, some 20 years ago as China began expanding... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, Japan Dials Up Pressure on China Over Southeast Asian Sea, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you Japan Dials Up Pressure on China Over Southeast Asian Sea

 

 

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Published By: VOA NEWS - Friday, 12 October, 2018

 

 

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