On Tuesday, Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono at a press conference announced the Self-Defense Force, essentially Japan’s military, would work with the country’s Coast Guard in protecting the Senkaku Islands. His comments were in response to increased Chinese provocations around those uninhabited features.
Why are these eight rocks in the East China Sea of any concern? They could trigger history’s next great conflict, perhaps as early as this month.
China is determined to take the Senkakus. On August 2, Sankei News, the conservative-leaning Japanese newspaper, reported that Beijing had informed Tokyo that a large number of Chinese fishing vessels and government ships might, at the end of a fishing-suspension period on the 16th of this month, enter territorial waters around those islands. (China calls them the Diaoyus.)