MSDF to cover more of South China Sea

Japan waving a cheery hello to China.

MSDF to cover more of South China Sea

The Defense Ministry and the Self-Defense Forces have decided that Japanese P-3C patrol aircraft returning home from anti-piracy activities off the coast of Somalia will give priority to stopping along the way at bases of countries facing the South China Sea, including the Philippines and Vietnam, according to sources.

The P-3C has advanced monitoring capabilities, and the decision is expected to increase the area of the South China Sea, which China claims as its territory, that they fly over. It could also be said the move will contribute to the protection of freedom of overflight and allow Japan to support in its own way U.S. patrols around artificial islands being built by China.

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