China recently performed military manoeuvres between Japan’s Miyakojima Island and Okinawa.
Japan sent fighter jets and warships to monitor the Liaoning, a Chinese aircraft carrier that, together with five warships and missile destroyers, has been carrying out operations near the Pacific nation’s waters. China also apparently flew a drone high above Miyakojima.
This may come as a response to the recent statement by the Japanese government that it is planning to double its military defence budget, as well as its opposition to Chinese pretensions on Taiwan. In addition, Japan recently suggested that Chinese military ambitions may pose a challenge to the international order.
Japan has also mentioned a potential development of its ‘counter strike capability’ which would allow it to strike an enemy base in case of attack, together with its possible easing of defence military equipment exports.
While Japanese Prime Minister Kishida did speak to President Xi Jinping at the last Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum summit, where the two agreed to improve relations, the Japanese head of government also voiced concerns about Chinese military drills back in August near Taiwan, during which ballistic missiles entered Japanese territory.
Relations between the two, therefore, seem to be poor, with Chinese geo-strategic aims requiring a show of military power in the Pacific, and Japan.