Japan will develop a new land-to-sea missile that has a range of 300 kilometers, according to Yomiuri Shimbun. The new weapon is expected to be deployed on islands such as Miyako in 2023. By improving their long-range strike capability, Japan aims to acquire bigger control over the disputed waters around the Diaoyu Islands, which are only 170 kilometers away from Miyako Island.
Miyako sits at the mouth of the Miyako Strait, an international waterway which is also a major route for the Chinese navy to enter the Pacific Ocean. If the new missile is deployed at Miyako, it could threaten all Chinese ships in the waters of the Diaoyu Islands.
Japan's aggressive plan has barely met any opposition. In stark contrast, China's deployment of some land-to-air missiles in Yongxing Island in the Xisha Islands for self-defense has been radically protested by the US and Japan, which claim China is militarizing the South China Sea and threatening the freedom of navigation. Japan keeps increasing the range of its missile weaponry on Miyako Island, from the type 88 land-to-sea missiles with a range of 150-200 kilometers, to the new missile of 300-kilometer range. Where is Japan's respect for freedom of navigation in international waters?
Japan has a strong awareness of crisis, one of the reasons that continues to drive the country in its past militarist expansions. Japan demands a big say in the smooth transportation in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Straits. Meanwhile, it wants to be a dominator in the Miyako Strait and decide whether the Chinese navy and civilian ships can enter or not.
Japan's logic excludes China's concerns about national security. Japan thinks its national interests should prevail and the US-Japan alliance should be the centerpiece of the Asia-Pacific region.
If Japan wants to make trouble with China on the latter's path to the Pacific, then it shouldn't make fuss about the fact that China will limit Japan's waterways in the South China Sea. Japan shouldn't use double standards between the militarization of the Miyako Island and the militarization of the Nansha Islands.
China has no intention to engage in a physical confrontation with its neighbors or the US, because it is not in line with China's national interests. But China's mustn't accept Japan's unilateral move to block the Miyako Strait in particular situations. A militarized Miyako Island should be a target of Chinese military forces, which could consider annihilating its military base if in war with Japan. However, it is best for both that the scenario won't happen.
Today is the 71st anniversary of Japan's surrender in WWII. The Japanese should use the day for introspection and remorse, instead of raising nationalism and flexing muscles.