China "extremely concerned" about U.S.-Japan island talk

TOKYO Thu Mar 21, 2013 12:13pm EDT

U.S. Admiral Samuel Locklear (C), Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, is accompanied by Shigeru Iwasaki (R), Chief of Japan's Self-Defence Forces Joint Staff, as he arrives to inspect the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) land-to-air missile deployed at the Defence Ministry in Tokyo April 11, 2012. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

U.S. Admiral Samuel Locklear (C), Commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, is accompanied by Shigeru Iwasaki (R), Chief of Japan's Self-Defence Forces Joint Staff, as he arrives to inspect the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) land-to-air missile deployed at the Defence Ministry in Tokyo April 11, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Yuriko Nakao

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan and the United States have started talks on military plans in case of armed conflict over a group of East China Sea Islets claimed by Tokyo and Beijing, Japanese media said on Thursday, prompting China to complain of "outside pressure."

The Pentagon confirmed talks were being held on Thursday and Friday between Shigeru Iwasaki, head of the Japanese Self-Defence Forces' joint staff, and Samuel Locklear, commander of U.S. forces in the Asia-Pacific, but said they were meant to discuss "the overall security environment in the Asia-Pacific region."

"As a matter of policy, we do not discuss our military planning efforts," Pentagon spokeswoman Lieutenant Colonel Catherine Wilkinson said.

Kyodo news agency said the two leaders were expected to agree that the allies will accelerate the drafting of the plans when they meet in Hawaii on Thursday and Friday. They will also likely review several scenarios including one under which Japanese and U.S. armed forces conduct joint operations in case China invades the islands, Kyodo said.

The Nikkei business daily carried a similar report on Wednesday.

A U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, however, said the talks "are not held as military planning efforts."

The dispute in recent months had escalated to the point where both sides scrambled fighter jets while patrol ships shadow each other, raising fears that an unintended collision or other incident could lead to a broader clash.

"China is extremely concerned by these reports ... The Chinese government has the determination and ability to maintain the nation's territorial sovereignty," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said.

"No outside pressure will affect the resolve and determination of the Chinese government and people to maintain territorial sovereignty."

The rocky, uninhabited islets, called the Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, are located near rich fishing grounds and potentially huge oil and gas reserves.

Senior U.S. officials including State Secretary John Kerry have said in recent months that the islands are covered by the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty.

Asked about the media reports, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Tokyo and Washington had been in close cooperation on security matters, but declined to comment on what will likely be discussed at the meeting.

China is also in disputes with several Southeast Asian countries over parts of the South China Sea also potentially rich in natural resources.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka in Tokyo, Ben Blanchard in Beijing, and Phil Stewart in Washington; Editing by Nick Macfie and Vicki Allen)

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Comments (7)
MikeBarnett wrote:
The US knows that it is in relative decline, and its 2% or 3% GDP growth compared to China’s 8% or 9% GDP growth for 2013 will continue the US decline relative to China. The islands cover only 5 square miles, and fracking in western China will yield oil and gas that will make any island oil and gas fields insignificant. China has built, and continues to build, a huge, continental irrigation project, and it has stocked, and continues to stock, lakes, rivers, streams, reservoirs, and canals with fish, so the fishing grounds won’t be that important.

The problem is that US idiots lead the US into another war crisis to reduce the rate at which China overtakes the US without considering the impact of the crisis on US growth rates. Military crises need huge US deficits as Iraq and Afghanistan have shown because it is more than the spending. The US destroyed US computers, cell phones, digital cameras, and fertilizer, the basic components of smart munitions. The US burned billions of gallons of US gasoline, diesel fuel, and aviation fuel. The US wasted billions of US man hours in unproductive work. Further, the US intends to cause Japan and other Asian countries to engage in the same self-destruction. The losses of US computer and other components allowed Chinese companies to overtake the US in many areas of technology. Now, the US plans to inflict the same economic and technology damages on Japan and other Asian economies. Japan and other Asian countries will find it difficult to maintain their production of high technology products while they shift high technology components to their militaries and destroy their high technology components in military exercises.

Fortunately, China has already announced that it will continue peace, prosperity, and trade. It will increase its military at it own pace. The self-destruction of the US, Japan, and other Asian countries will allow China to continue growing while the US, Japan, and their followers raise their levels of bankruptcy until each collapses into a decade of depression. This will greatly increase China’s rise relative to the rest of the world.

Mar 21, 2013 5:40pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Janeallen wrote:
All the more reason for China to
(1) rein in North Korea, and
(2) seek peaceful avenues, allies, to settle the contention over the Diaoyu Islands.

Mar 21, 2013 8:14pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
ulfric wrote:
China isn’t a peaceful nation. Through out history, China always invaded its neighbors when it’s strong. Just look at how China’s neighbors position their troops, even North Korea. They remember.

Mar 21, 2013 8:52pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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