Japan plans to increase its activities in the South China sea by conducting joint training and patrols with the United States and regional navies, said Japan's defense Minister Tomomi Inada.
Japan will also provide military assistance to countries such as the Philippines and Vietnam, as it increases its role in the contested waters of the South China sea, Inada said Thursday at the Center for strategic and international studies, a think tank in Washington, DC.
Inada also welcomed the US plan to allocate 60% of its assets, Navy and air force in the Asia-Pacific region by 2020. Japan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Philippines and Taiwan is included into the group of countries involved in territorial disputes with China.
China declares that it owns most of the South China sea, pointing to the map of 1947, claiming territory, which lies hundreds of miles South and East of its island province of Hainan.
The ongoing controversy intensified when the region began to increase its military forces against China, but also because of the Vietnamese fishermen who work in the Paracel Islands - territory claimed by Vietnam, China and Taiwan find themselves in a fight.
In July 2016, the international Tribunal in the Hague ruled in favor of the Philippines in Maritime dispute, concluding that China has no legal grounds to claim historical rights in an expansive territory in the South China sea.
Inada mentioned how the recent actions of China in the East China and South China seas, "has caused serious concern in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond." "I would like to stress my government's determination to protect our territorial integrity and sovereignty," said Inada. "To this end, we will continue our own defense efforts, and to support and strengthen the military power of other countries."
sections: Politics, World News, Accidents