Tempers Flare Between Japan and China Over Islets

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By: Staff

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A territorial dispute over unpopulated Islets in the East China Sea has escalated causing Japan to scramble fighter jets on Wednesday after a Chinese military aircraft flew through international airspace. 

The flyby has caused pause for Japan, its Defense Ministry said a Chinese Y-8 airborne early warning plane flew through airspace between Okinawa prefecture’s main island and the smaller Miyako island in southern Japan over the Pacific at around noon and later took the same route back.

The waters around the disputed islands, called the Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, and which are to the west of Okinawa's main island, are rich fishing grounds and the sea floor around them could hold big oil and gas reserves.

Tension between the two Far East Asian Countries flared last September when Japan bought three of the disputed islands from a private Japanese owner.  Since then, patrol ships and aircraft from both countries have been shadowing each other in the waters and skies around the islets.

The Thinkering will keep you updated on further incidents.

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