The new Japanese law on preserving remote island areas may escalate the territorial spat between China and Japan, as well as jeopardize China’s maritime security and sovereignty over Diaoyu Islands, according to experts.
The law, which took effect on April 1, is designed to boost the declining population on remote islands, in addition to enhancing Japan’s border security. According to Fox News, the Japanese government plans to legally designate Diaoyu Islands, which are claimed by both China and Japan, as an inhabited border territory following the enactment of the new law.
“After enacting the law, Japan may dispatch its coast guard and soldiers to Diaoyu Islands. It’s possible that the country will also deploy weapons, including radars or even missiles, on the islands, which would significantly improve Japan's combat capability. It would also promote Japan’s military normalization,” Major General Du Wenlong from the PLA Academy of Military Science told CCTV.
Cao Weidong, a Beijing-based military expert, told CCTV that instead of carrying out peaceful negotiations with China, Japan has chosen to try to strengthen its grip on Diaoyu Islands through military means, which may lead to a military confrontation between the two nations.
“The new law will take aim at more islands in the future so that Japan can seize additional maritime interests, as well as forge its military containment in the region,” said Cao.
According to the Straits Times, Japan’s government plans to designate 148 outlying islands close to its borders as “inhabited outlying border islands,” seeking to nationalize them and boost their population.