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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Japan May Join U.S. in South China Sea Patrols


Japan’s military may join U.S. forces in conducting regular patrols in the South China Sea, according to the nation’s top uniformed officer, underscoring how China’s territorial claims are encouraging Tokyo to play a greater role in regional security.

Adm. Katsutoshi Kawano, chief of the Joint Staff of the Japan Self-Defense Forces, said in an interview that China’s recent moves to build artificial islands have created “very serious potential concerns” for Japan, a trading nation that relies on the sea lane that runs through the area.

“Of course, the area is of the utmost importance for Japanese security,” Adm. Kawano said. “We don’t have any plans to conduct surveillance in the South China Sea currently but depending on the situation, I think there is a chance we could consider doing so.”

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