- March 23, 2023
Kishida described the situation as “a significant problem that impacts our national security and the safety of our nationals” and said that Japan “lodged a protest with China through diplomatic channels.” China fired five missiles towards Japan’s exclusive economic zone during military exercises close to Taiwan. The Japanese government has verified the development. It is the first time a Chinese military ballistic missile has landed in Japanese territorial waters, according to defense minister Nobuo Kishi.
According to Kishida, “This is a major matter that affects both the safety of the people and the national security of our country.” Tokyo also protested the Chinese government diplomatically. In response to concern about whether the missiles crossed over the main island of Taiwan, Taiwan’s defense officials claimed that they traveled high in the sky and posed no threat. Due to worries about intelligence, the ministry stated in a statement that it would not reveal the Chinese missile’s flight route.
The area surrounding Japan in which it has exclusive rights to conduct activities like fishing is known as the exclusive economic zone. Taiwan is close to Okinawa, the southernmost island of Japan. Chinese ballistic missiles had never before touched down in Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), according to Kishi. Beyond Japan’s territorial seas, the EEZ stretches up to 200 nautical miles from its coast. According to the Chinese military, the drills, which started on Thursday, included a “conventional missile firepower assault” in the waters to the east of Taiwan. The EEZ extends up to 200 nautical miles from Japan’s coastline, beyond the limits of its territorial waters. The drills began on Thursday, and involved a “conventional missile firepower assault” in waters to the east of Taiwan, the Chinese military said.
On Wednesday, Japan raised the alarm to China on the drills, stating that they were scheduled to take place in marine areas that bordered its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). According to Kishi, all nine missiles are thought to have landed in regions that China had chosen for the military drills. The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) are responsible for protecting the EEZ of Japan. As an island nation, dependent on maritime trade for the majority of its resources, including food and raw materials, maritime operations are a very important aspect of Japanese defense policy. The exclusive economic zone only recognises the economic, scientific and environmental jurisdiction of the coastal countries and entry of a foreign fishing vessel into the EEZ is not automatically illegal. With regard to the above, a law (fishing sovereignty law, EEZ Fisheries Law) concerning the exercise of sovereign rights regarding fisheries, etc. in the exclusive economic zone (in Japanese) that regulates fisheries of foreigners within the exclusive economic zone of Japan is established.
This action could affect the countries trading relationship, in 2020, Japan exported $133B to China. The main products exported from Japan to China were Cars ($8.69B), Machinery Having Individual Functions ($8.52B), and Integrated Circuits ($7.42B). On top of the sensitive relation, the cooling of Japanese investment and trade with China has been largely affected by the economic security law, which imposed some restrictions and required tougher investment scrutiny for Japanese companies to carry out high-tech cooperation with China, Chen Zilei, director of the Research Center for Japanese Economics at the Shanghai University of International Business and Economics, told the Global Times on Friday.
“Although Japanese enterprises are still very optimistic about the development of the Chinese market, there are some legal restrictions, which are not conducive to the bilateral cooperation between these enterprises and Chinese enterprises,” Chen said. Japan’s accusation that China fired ballistic missiles into its exclusive economic zone close to Taiwan has heightened tensions between the neighbors, which often spar over human rights and historical grievances. The show of force was part of Beijing’s biggest cross-strait exercises in decades, and brought a renewed focus to concerns that any military action against Taiwan would have serious ramifications for Japan. That could fuel arguments in Tokyo for a swift increase in defense spending and looser constitutional restrictions on the military.
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