A Chinese bomber flies over East China Sea on July 23. Photo: oint Staff Office of the Defense Ministry of Japan/HANDOUT via REUTERS
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Chinese aircraft used Japanese ships as targets in East China Sea drill: gov't

31 Comments

Chinese military aircraft likely used nearby Japanese destroyers as targets during a missile drill in international waters in the East China Sea in May, according to Japanese government sources.

The Japanese government viewed the drill as "an extremely dangerous military activity" that could have developed into a contingency, the sources said Sunday.

But Japan has not lodged a protest with China or disclosed the incident publicly as it does not wish to reveal its intelligence gathering and analysis capabilities, according to the sources.

While relations between Japan and China have been improving recently, the two countries remain at odds over the East China Sea, with Japan repeatedly protesting over unilateral gas field development by China and intrusions in Japanese territorial waters by Chinese vessels.

Japan and China agreed in 2008 on joint gas field development in the East China Sea, but the project has stalled since a collision between a Chinese fishing vessel and a Japanese patrol ship in 2010 off the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands that are claimed by China, which calls them Diaoyu.

The Chinese aircraft drill indicates that tensions remain in the area, highlighting the necessity to develop a mechanism to avoid accidental clashes, defense experts said.

According to the sources, in late May several JH-7 fighter bombers approached two Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers that were within striking distance of anti-ship missiles.

The crews of the Japanese vessels were not able to determine the intention of the Chinese pilots, who did not lock on guided missile radar.

However, units of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces intercepted communications between the Chinese aircraft in which the pilots said they would conduct a drill using the MSDF vessels as mock targets, according to the sources.

Based on analysis of the radio communications, the flight paths of the aircraft and other information, the Japanese government came to the conclusion that an anti-ship drill had been conducted.

Some Japanese government officials believe the incident was a provocation, the sources said, while defense experts said the situation needed to be further analyzed.

"Usually, it is not possible for any military organization to use another country's military as a target during a drill in international waters," said Bonji Ohara, a senior fellow at the Sasakawa Peace Foundation, adding it is necessary to figure out whether the move was ordered by Chinse military commanders or just carried out by the pilots.

In 2013, a Chinese warship directed a fire-control radar at an MSDF destroyer in the East China Sea, prompting the Japanese government to lodge a protest with China.

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31 Comments
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The Chinese should do that!

-20 ( +3 / -23 )

And, as always, some whine that Japan is the 'aggressor' nation in that region.

Proof that you can never trust that government. Smile and shake hands publicly while you get money and trade secrets and then do things like this behind Japan's back.

20 ( +25 / -5 )

The Japanese government viewed the drill as "an extremely dangerous military activity"

Let's not go overboard here but I guess the LDP needs to grasp for straws to "convince" the people China is the big enemy now to please their Washington overlords and revise the constitution.

To my recollection China has never attacked Japan and I don't see any reason why they would start doing so now.

-16 ( +10 / -26 )

wow, fear mongering and 3rd rate reporting.

First paragraph reads “likely” from unnamed sources yet the title screams “CHINESE AIRCRAFT USED JAPANESE SHIPS AS TARGETS: GOVT” the Japanese government didn’t protest nor disclose publicly.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

fear mongering

Yes and something we can do easily without given the recent tensions in the region.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Using Japanese ships as targets in drills is absolutely unforgivable. Summon the Chinese Ambassador and lodge an official protest!

4 ( +19 / -15 )

Some people hate Japan so much they will blame Japan even when Japan is the target of aggression. Amazing.

21 ( +27 / -6 )

Using Japanese ships as targets in drills is absolutely unforgivable. Summon the Chinese Ambassador and lodge an official protest!

IF it happened.

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

Military scrams happens all the times,Soviet and Yankees have a long history of such kind.

Modern Russia and NATO have countless of military tensions in a daily basis but they don't go whine or call ambassadors.

Sadly such kind of thins are routine,especially for militaristic countries,also I don't think Japan need more enemies,it seems they already have enough.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

If China has to use real world Japanese vessels without informing that nation of its intention and proceeds with conducting such exercises without notice then it is provocation. This only brings out an intent of a possible scenario i.e. invasion tactics, i.e. the supposedly man-made in the name of exploration and research now turned to militarized base. hmmm..

6 ( +9 / -3 )

To my recollection China has never attacked Japan and I don't see any reason why they would start doing so now.

This may or may not be much ado about nothing, but the "they haven't attacked us yet to my recollection" is not at all relevant. If it were, half of the world's wars wouldn't have happened. China has demonstrated its willingness to use force to take what it thinks it deserves, and we are going to see more of that in the future. It would be very foolish not to remain guarded with the current Chinese government.

11 ( +17 / -6 )

Hmm, I wonder if these Japanese ships deliberately allowed themselves to be targets to see what type of attack patterns or electronic signals the chinese aircraft were giving off.

By the way, very likely the Japanese ships were also locking on to the aircraft to blast them out of the sky if they had to. Just that china government doesn't like to admit their failures.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Even when 17 Russian aircraft mobbed HMS Duncan in the Black Sea last year they were not so stupid as to make or simulate an attack run.

Whether this was sanctioned or not depends on how undisciplined you think the Chinese forces are. Either way it is unprecedented and concerning given the surrounding circumstances.

That Japans military didn’t want to give away their abilities has some reason to it, but now it is out in the open perhaps a behind closed doors but stronger diplomatic response is called for. Not all diplomacy is best carried out with a megaphone.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

. Summon the Chinese Ambassador and lodge an official protest

Lolololololololololoololololololol

Sure Jan!!

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

I'm not excited. It is inevitable that such things happen. When a P-3C tracks a Chinese Type 93, they are also practicing localizing them and having them for lunch on command.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

What a charade!

Japan and China are really silent partners so their military planes and ships doin da-kine mock war maneuvers are just routine friendly play.

In fact both even ganged up against the most Japanese friendly ROC-Taiwan wherein Tokyo savagely broke diplomatic relations to cozy up to Beijing!

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Quote: “Extremely dangerous military activity that could have developed into a contingency”...

Is a contingency something bad?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Here we go again, it was South Korea last time, "locking on", gosh what a paranoid defense force !

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

"But Japan has not lodged a protest with China or disclosed the incident publicly as it does not wish to reveal its intelligence gathering and analysis capabilities, according to the sources."

You hear this a lot lately with Japan in the lead up to Abe's life-long dream of revising the Constitution; "They did it! They did! South Korea! North Korea! China! Proof? We don't have to give it... it's about security! We have the proof, but we won't show you! Just believe us and please cooperate."

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

@Will Goode

Here we go again, it was South Korea last time, "locking on", gosh what a paranoid defense force !

But the “lock on” incident never happened. P-1’s sub par equipment mistook Korean coast guard’s search radar for a Korean destroyer’s fire-control radar and mistakenly claimed that the Koreans locked on them.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

It would be very foolish not to remain guarded with the current Chinese government

Putting aside the fact that the Chinese government violates human rights on a regular basis why on earth would they go to war with Japan or any other country in the region and throw away their number one economic position for which they worked so hard and so long to obtain ?

Xi Ping knows very well his country will completely collapse if his foreign export markets close down on him, I mean the man can arguably be called a dictator but he is not stupid.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

You hear this a lot lately with Japan in the lead up to Abe's life-long dream of revising the Constitution; "They did it! They did! South Korea! North Korea! China! Proof? We don't have to give it... it's about security! We have the proof, but we won't show you! Just believe us and please cooperate."

The sad part is he may actually get away with it, Shinzo Abe did go on record saying that revising the Constitution and becoming America's war buddy would become the greatest thing that ever happened in the history of LDP.

Talking about delusions of grandeur...

1 ( +5 / -4 )

gosh what a paranoid defense force !

Hell yes. Let's not have them ready for even the slightest provocative incident. Best just to put your feet up on the desk and watch the drama on the TV.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Is it me or is it certain people who support S. Korea, want Japan to have bad relations wtih China.

The same people were making excuses and blaming Japan for radar lock on with S. Korea.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

It doesn't make any sense. Each time when Chinese people are doing the best to get closer to Japanese people, then there are some unofficial, headless anonymous news come out to blame China for this, blame China for that. When can Japan be away from lies and violence ?

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Japan extends the hand of friendship to China again and again. China returns such gestures with practice drills against Japanese ships, practicing for war. China can never be trusted.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

This shouldf never have happened this the same as pointing a gun at other people.

Only non educated people would say something like this;

. When Japan sinks, as predicted, don't swim toward to mainland, thank you.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@peppy kids

This shouldf never have happened this the same as pointing a gun at other people.

But that was exactly the plot in the 2006 Japanese movie "Sinking of Japan".

When Japan was about to sink, the Japanese government chooses to relocate Japanese population among several nations; China, US, Australia, etc.

I don't know who got to go to the US/Australia and who to China, probably a computerized random drawing or something? Must be terrible for Japanese picked to be sent to China of all places.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinking_ofJapan(2006_film)

Sinking of Japan (2006 film)

The next day, Prime Minister Yamamoto goes to China to try to make arrangements for an impending resettlement of Japanese refugees and appoints a close colleague, Saori Takamori, as disaster management minister.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Chinese military aircraft likely used nearby Japanese destroyers as targets during a missile drill in international waters in the East China Sea in May, according to Japanese government sources.

.....But Japan has not lodged a protest with China or disclosed the incident publicly as it does not wish to reveal its intelligence gathering and analysis capabilities, according to the sources.

"Likely used"? "Has not disclosed the incident publicly"?  Where did this alleged information come from? Who wrote this story? Why haven't they chosen to add their name(s) to this article? Is this a story of someone's opinion, or just wishful thinking on the part of the author?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

"Likely used"? "Has not disclosed the incident publicly"? Where did this alleged information come from? Who wrote this story? Why haven't they chosen to add their name(s) to this article? Is this a story of someone's opinion, or just wishful thinking on the part of the author?

All reasonable and prudent questions. Given that Japanese people are too intellectually lazy to question authority (government), its no surprise that you received down votes.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Chip Star - All reasonable and prudent questions. Given that Japanese people are too intellectually lazy to question authority (government), its no surprise that you received down votes.

Insulting the Japanese people is not a proper response.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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