Chinese warships have pointed missile radars at Japanese military targets and taken the two regional powers to the brink of “a dangerous situation”, say Japanese officials.
The news overnight marks a dangerous escalation of a four-month diplomatic and military stand-off between Australia’s two largest trading partners, involving disputed islets in the East China Sea.
Japan’s defence minister, Itsunori Onodera, told reporters last night that a Chinese frigate pointed a missile control radar at the Japanese destroyer Yuudachi on January 30.
Japan protest over China ship’s radar action
Chinese-Japanese Tension Reached Critical Last Week
“A Chinese military vessel last week locked its weapons-targeting radar on a Japanese warship, Japan’s Ministry of Defense said Tuesday, marking a brief but dangerous escalation in the showdown for maritime territory between Asia’s two largest economies.
The Chinese ship ultimately unlocked its radar without firing a shot, but the incident underscores how the neighbors — wrangling over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea — are just one mistake away from potential armed conflict.”
According to this AP report there were two separate incidents of this, about two weeks apart, on 1/19 and 1/30.
The 1/19 incident roughly coincides with the sharp escalation that occurred on 1/20: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-01-20/japan-warns-it-may-fire-chinese-aircraft-over-disputed-islands-china-retorts-there-w
The 1/30 incident roughly coincides with China’s warning to the Fed on 1/29 to slow the rate of its currency inflation: http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2013-01-29/china-just-threatened-currency-war-if-fed-doesnt-stop-printing
Japan said that it withheld this information until it could verify it. However, the Japanese Nikkei plummeted almost 2% last night, which is a bad sign because it suggests that the recent bump in the stock market may have reached its peak. So this is a great time to release this sort of news. (a) Japanese media will be focused on that rather than the market’s response to Abe’s new policies, and (b) countries always rally around foreign aggression.
(This is just speculation – I’m thinking out loud).