Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi stated that five ballistic missiles fired by China’s military on Thursday during exercises in Taiwan were thought to have landed in Japan’s exclusive economic area for the first time.
Japan’s Economic Exclusive Zone is the 8th largest in the world and spans up to 370km away from the coastline. The official statement from the Japanese Defense Ministry stated that all five missiles fired by China through Taiwan landed within the EZZ southwest of Hateruma island.
Kishi stated that the Japanese government sent a diplomatic protest letter to Beijing in protest of the move. Kishi stated, “This is a serious issue that concerns our nation’s security and peoples’ safety.”
However, there have been some discrepancies in the information. Past week China stated that 11 rockets were fired in 3 major directions ( south, east, and north), and similar confirmation was received through authorities in Taiwan. But the Japanese defense ministry claims that china has only fired nine missiles. It was not immediately known why this discrepancy occurred.
They have found that China flew four of these missiles directly over Taiwan’s capital to Japan’s EEZ. This would be considered a significant escalation by Beijing.
Late Tuesday, China announced that it would host some of the largest-scale military exercises, which include ballistic missile launches. Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan excursion is thought to be a massive catalyst in China’s action. Later Thursday, she landed in Japan, the final leg of her trip.
China considers democratic Taiwan an integral piece of its territory and demands it be returned to the fold. The U.S. does not consider Taipei as part of China, and Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan is only speculated to encourage the Taiwanese against China. However, Taiwan has the right to defend itself even according to U.S. policies.
However, the Chinese missile drills have been ostensibly targeted at the U.S. and Taiwan. Experts say they are also a warning to Japan. According to coordinates released to the Chinese military, some of Japan’s far-flung islands are between the exercise areas.
Yonaguni Island in Okinawa Prefecture is located 110 km from Taiwan. Miyako Island and Yonaguni Island are also home to Ground Self-Defense Force bases. Construction is underway at Ishigaki Island for a second base for surface-to-air missile units.
China has recently sent warships, warplanes, and other military equipment into the region as part of a routine training operation. It also conducted military drills in Taiwan during the so-called “Third Taiwan Strait Crisis,” 1995-96. The drills, announced Tuesday night, cover a much larger area than the exercises and extend to Taiwan’s northeast and east regions. These missiles landed closer to the gathering place of the U.S. and Japanese allied marine forces in case of a Chinese invasion.
Shinzo Abe, a former Prime Minister, has stated that a Chinese attack against democratic Taiwan, a key semiconductor-maker, which sits astride critical shipping lanes that supply Japan with much of its energy, would also be an emergency for Tokyo.