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Flare-up fabricated by Japan

By Zhang Junshe | China Daily | Updated: 2013-03-29 07:11

Fire-control radar row is Tokyo's attempt to get more overt outside support and push for constitutional change

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has urged the European Union to maintain its embargo on arms exports to China because of the heightened tensions in the East China Sea. But it is Japan that is guilty of escalating regional tensions. It is busy playing up a "China threat" to mislead international opinion, so that it can achieve its long-standing military ambitions.

In February, Japan claimed that a Chinese navy ship put a radar lock on a Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer in the East China Sea in January. The Japanese media, dancing to the government's tune, accused China of other such provocations and said it was pushing the two countries to the brink of war.

China's Defense Ministry has resolutely rejected the Japanese allegations, and anyone with even a basic military knowledge will realize that they are groundless.

Japan claims that its destroyer and the Chinese frigate were about 3 kilometers apart at the time the Chinese vessel is alleged to have locked its weapon-targeting radar on the Japanese destroyer. This is simply not credible, because at this distance the Chinese vessel would have used its electro-optical target tracker, which would have been more effective at this distance.

What's more it could not have been a provocation as Japan is suggesting, because the Chinese vessel would never initiate its fire-control radar in such a situation as doing so would tip its hand on the unique characteristics of the radar, including its radio frequency and pulse duration.

Clearly Japan has an ulterior motive for these allegations. By fabricating the incident, Japan is attempting to convince the United States that China is a threat to Japan so that Washington will back Japan in its bitter row with Beijing over the Diaoyu Islands.

Japan is desperate for US backing, but the US has said it will not take sides in the sovereignty dispute and Abe failed to get any explicit words of support when he visited the US in February. By creating this hullabaloo, Tokyo is hoping to finally press Washington to throw its weight fully behind it.

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