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Military tension around Diaoyu Islands overstated

Updated: 2013-10-27 08:10
By Li Xiaokun, Zhang Yunbi and Pu Zhendong ( China Daily)

Military tension around Diaoyu Islands overstated

Koichi Kato (second from right), president of the Japan-China Friendship Association, attends the political session of the Beijing-Tokyo Forum on Saturday. Photos by Zou Hong / China Daily

The security situation around the Diaoyu Islands is actually "not as serious" as the media make it out to be, veteran officers and defense-studies scholars from China and Japan said on Saturday in Beijing.

"Both Tokyo and Beijing knows full well that there is not any warship around the islands, and warships from both sides have always kept at a distance to avoid direct contact," said Yoji Kouda, retired vice-admiral of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force.

"Is it really appropriate to define the situation as 'military tension'?"

Kouda was speaking at the Ninth Foreign Policies and Security Session of the Beijing-Tokyo Forum.

Li Wei, director of the Institute of Japanese Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said there have been too many mass media reports on the "military standoff" and "the rising risks of conflict".

"The traditional US-Japanese alliance has a comparative advantage on using media campaigns to accuse China of posing a military threat and exerting considerable pressure on China," Li said.

"As a result, the Chinese media will send opposing messages, which in return may be used by Tokyo, creating a vicious circle," Li said.

The latest row between the two neighbors regarding defense issues falls on a recent policy proposal, approved by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, that authorizes Japanese armed forces to shoot down unmanned aircraft from abroad.

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