What Happened: Japan's coast guard is planning to expand its activities in the Ogasawara Islands to curb encroachments by foreign fishing vessels, The Japan Times reported July 19, citing an anonymous government official. The islands are about a 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) south of Tokyo.
Why It Matters: China's increasing maritime presence in Japan's near abroad poses a threat to its outlying islands and territorial claims. As Japan moves to boost its maritime self-defense forces, the coast guard is a key tool to shore up its presence in these far-flung regions.
Background: As China continues to assert itself in the waters around Japan, Tokyo is taking steps to counteract encroachment into its waters and challenge Beijing's attempts to assert dominance in the region.
- Understanding the China-Japan Island Conflict (July 5, 2018)
- China's Navy Prepares to Close the Gap on the U.S. (May 11, 2018)
- Understanding the China-Japan Island Conflict (Sept. 25, 2012)