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Japan may reveal radar evidence

Publication Date : 10-02-2013


Japan Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera yesterday said the government may release photos and video images that prove the use of fire-control radar by Chinese Navy vessels on a Maritime Self-Defence Force destroyer and ship-based helicopter.

Appearing on a Yomiuri Telecasting Corp. (YTV) programme, Onodera said, "We are considering within the government to what extent we can make public [the evidence that fire-control radar was used by the Chinese Navy]."

The Chinese government has denied using fire-control radar, claiming that only regular observation radar was used in both cases.

Onodera said a regular observation radar device rotates, but a fire-control radar works differently when targeting an object.

"Video taken by the MSDF confirms the radar used was that of a fire-control radar," Onodera said in an apparent rebuttal to the Chinese government's claim.

Onodera also said provocative actions by Chinese government ships around the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture have ceased since Tuesday, after the government announced the fire-control radar incidents on the day.

Meanwhile, China agreed that having a hotline with Japan to avoid an accidental military clash in the East China Sea was necessary, a government source said yesterday.

The Japanese government has been calling on China to establish a "maritime communication mechanism," an emergency liaison system that would include a hotline between defence authorities of the two countries.

When Chinese Ambassador to Japan Cheng Yonghua met Vice Foreign Minister Chikao Kawai at the Foreign Ministry on Friday, Cheng was quoted by the source as saying, "Communication between the two countries is necessary to avoid a mishap."

Onodera told reporters in Tokyo on Saturday morning the Japanese government had sent a proposal to China through a diplomatic channel to have talks on the communication mechanism.

Both governments agreed in July 2011 at a meeting of vice defence ministers on the creation of such a mechanism in the near future.

Talks on the matter continued through 2012 but were suspended after the Japanese government nationalised three of the Senkaku Islands in September 2012.


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