As tensions have continued to grow with China attempting to assert is growing might in both the East and South China Seas, Tokyo stood up and gave Manila a pat on the back of support in their landmark case against Beijing.
Being well-timed, Japan also sent the JS Shirane (DDH 143) and JS Asayuki (DD-132) two “escort ships” (Japanese word is 護衛艦; however, the rest of the world navies call the same vessels “destroyers “) to dock in Manila for a four-day “goodwill visit” which will culminate in a joint exercise. The Japanese are also using this to emphasize the strategic nature of the partnership with the Philippines in Southeast Asia.
Two things come to mind after reading these articles…
First, makes me wonder if the joint exercise will be a resupply mission to the Marines in the contested area… and secondly, I’m curious if the United States’ coordinated its recent visit with Japan to show a unity of effort of alliance partners—will South Korea or Australia next come out and support the Philippines in kind?
Jumping back to the first article – Japan has insisted their support is based off of the peaceful resolution of this dispute, specifically pointing to UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) as the reason for this action… which of course is contrary to China’s claim that they are the ones abiding by UNCLOS. …Hence the reason for this international tribunal to take place 😉
Hopefully with this action taking place, more countries will follow suit (in filing actions against China for their aggressive behavior) and regional peace and stability will return. Or it may cause China to become upset with the system and challenge the status quo. What are your thoughts?
Japan support article found here: http://bit.ly/1ktwuLM
Japan’s Escorts Dock article here: http://bit.ly/1orUzIP
(Photo from: http://investphilippines.org)