Several countries are in a headlock in the Asia Pacific as territorial claims and authorities are challenged. According to new reports, tensions are mounting among Russia and Japan with each country questioning the military moves of the other.
Several countries are making their own moves with regards to the dispute over the South China Sea region. For instance, Japan just activated a radar station in the East China Sea allowing it to establish a permanent intelligence post that can track territories nearby. China expressed its anger over the matter, as reported by Business Insider.
China has been raising flags in the region as it continues with its efforts to militarize the area despite strong opposition from surrounding nations and the United States. This has prompted countries like Japan to make a move on the matter. The country had since made plans of putting up a coastal observation unit west of the main Okinawa Island. As explained by Daigo Shiomitsu, a Ground Self Defense Force lieutenant colonel, this move shall make the country alert to any possible provocation targeted against Japan.
However, it may not only be China that Japan needs to worry about. The country recently expressed concerns about Moscow’s plans to create a naval base on a western Pacific island chain that is also claimed by Tokyo. The statement from Japan came following comments from Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu suggesting that Moscow is looking into the possibility of establishing a naval base on the Kuril Islands.
This development is particularly alarming since both Russia and China are vocal of their strong alliance. Together, these two nations make a powerful colonizer in the contested region. And if ever these two nations joined forces to imposed their might in the region, the United States will automatically be drag in into the equation. One wrong move from any of these players could spell the third world war.
As reported by Morning News USA in June 2015, Russia announced its plan of conducting war games in the pacific together with China and Brunei.
Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov announced at the time that Russia will conduct its first-ever military exercises with both countries this year, 2016, in the wake of the escalating South China Sea tension. The defense minister cited particular concerns against U.S. policies that destabilize the Asia Pacific region. “We are concerned by US policies in the region, especially since every day it becomes increasingly focused on a systemic containment of Russia and China,” Antonov said at the time.
He also accused the U.S. of contaminating the region with “color revolutions” the way it already inflicted the Middle East and Ukraine. He also highlighted the accusations that the U.S. brought Ukraine into a civil war, resulting into a human catastrophe in the nation. This shall not happen in the disputed region, Antonov hinted.
With regards to the recent plan of Russia to build a naval base in Kuril Islands, chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga expressed heightened concern. “We’ve informed the Russian side through a diplomatic channel that we are concerned about the comment by Defense Minister Shoigu,” The Guardian quoted chief cabinet secretary. “We’ve also told them that if this led to the reinforcement of Russian military infrastructure on the Northern Territories, that would be incompatible with Japan’s stance and regrettable,” added the official.