China has declared the skies over the Senkaku isles and much of the waters surrounding Okinawa are Chinese airspace and that it will feel free to shoot down planes which fail to obey its instructions in the zone.
China’s ministry of defence has officially announced an “East China Sea air-defence identification zone” extending far outside its former airspace and both extending over the Senkaku islands and overlapping Japan’s pre-existing air defence zone:
China says it will be “safeguarding state sovereignty, territorial land and air security, and maintaining flight order” in its newly appropriated airspace, and that its armed forces will “take emergency measures including using force” against any planes which refuse to obey its commands.
Japan has condemned the zone as a “unilateral escalation” of the situation.
In recent months the Japanese government has noted regular maritime patrols by China in the waters around the Senkaku islands have been bolstered by drone overflights for the first time – and has gone so far as to authorise they be shot down should they “ignore warnings.”
In response, China has said any attempt to shoot down its intruding aircraft would constitute an “act of war.”
Amongst Japanese online there is outrage at China’s brazen designs on the Senkaku islands, with few now convinced they stop even at Okinawa:
“China really wants war, doesn’t it?”
“This is what Abe gets for trying to appease China by avoiding Yasukuni. They are just mocking us.”
“The Chinese government must be really desperate to be doing this. How long until the country collapses? At least there is an ocean to keep all the refugees at bay.”
“So let me get this straight, both the JSDF and USAF now have to file flight plans with China?”
“It’s just propaganda for domestic consumption. They couldn’t attack those islands if they tried.”
“This is naked territorial aggression. It could lead to war. Japan should take this to the UN if they ignore our concerns. I doubt it will accomplish anything though.”
“You’d think they’d be a bit more careful considering the USA’s Okinawan bases are involved.”
“China is on a path to self-destruction. If they go to war their economy will be ruined, if they don’t they will collapse into civil war. All Japan can do is evacuate its nationals.”
“Nice to see our ‘allies’ the yanks being so firm in their support for us as usual.”
“As usual Japan will just watch as enemies overfly its territory. If they attack Japan will counter-attack. Nothing new to see here.”
“We can’t become a defeated nation again.”
“Japan needs nukes.”