Japan PM Abe Issues Fresh Warning to China, Will Not Tolerate Use of Force on Island Row
The Japan Daily Press
Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe implied that Japan militarily is ready to response against any use of
force that aims to “changing the status quo” which term is frequently used by Japanese politicians to
refer to China’s maritime expansion in the East China Sea and South China Sea. The dispute between
both states centred especially on sovereignty over Senkakuisland. Recent act by China whose military
aircraft has for three straight days flown near Japan border has spurred worries over possible violent
sparks that may ignite if such hostile environment continues to hang over Sino-Japan relationship.
Under UNCLOS, states are entitled to claim a territorial sea extending up to 12nm from a coastal
state’s baseline where a state will have full sovereignty over the seabed, water column, surface and
airspace though must permit innocent passage of vessels from other countries. Next, coastal states are
further entitled to claim an exclusive economic zone extending up to 200 nautical miles from the
baseline, in which they enjoy "sovereign rights" over the resources of the water column and the
seabed. Finally, UNCLOS allows states to claim authority over the seabed of their continental shelves.
The fact that UNCLOS allows the projection of maritime jurisdiction once sovereignty has been
imposed over Senkakuisland for either Japan or China, has possibly causes the dispute to further
deteriorate. Under the international law of the sea, control of the Senkakus may convey exclusive
economic rights to nearly thousands of square nautical miles of undersea resources which experts
believe to contain unearthed hydrocarbon reserves beneath surrounding seas of the islands.