The Chinese Navy's 12-day military exercise around the Japanese archipelago ahead of the G-7 summit in Hiroshima, likely in reaction to Japan's warming relations with Taiwan, has caused a strong reaction from the Japanese populace.
From April 30 to May 12, five Chinese warships circled the Japanese archipelago and surrounded the Sendo Islands in Okinawa prefecture.
Okinawa prefecture is far closer to Taiwan than to Tokyo, putting it front and centre to growing tension in the region.
Strong Reaction from Japanese SocietyMany readers commented on the report, objecting to the CCP's provocations and threats, and saying that the Japanese government is too soft on the communist regime.
"The CCP may be trying to show its strength, or it may be threatening," one reader wrote. "Just a few days ago, it threatened to turn Japan into a sea of fire."
Another reader urged Japanese companies to leave China as soon as possible.
“The CCP is hated by many countries around the world due to its debt trap. Perhaps because of the economy, [it] turned into an invasion of Taiwan, and there is a high possibility that Japan could be involved,” read the comment.
“In some cases, Japanese companies in China are at risk of having their technology and property expropriated. They should leave China as soon as possible. At least move to other Asian countries or India.”
"In this situation, does Gov. Danny of Okinawa still say that the presence of the Self-Defense Force and U.S. forces is bad? What will Okinawans think of it? Does [he] still ask us to live in peace with our neighboring country?"
Another reader wrote, “Okinawan media did not report on China's invasion of [our] territorial waters and committing a crime, neither did the governor of Okinawa make a statement. It is unclear whether he is confused or weak."
"Japan must strengthen its military forces in the area around the Senkaku Islands," someone else said.
Japan's Naval Power Crushes CCP's: Analysis“If something happens to Taiwan, something happens to Japan,” Masakazu Nishikori, a resident of Naha City, Okinawa, quoted from late Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Nishikori said as Taiwan is very close to Okinawa, he is very worried as a resident of the prefecture.
“[I] hope that Japan will reduce its economic dependence on the CCP so that it can break away from the CCP’s supply chain and build up its strength to compete with China,” he told The Epoch Times on May. 22. "But Japanese submarines are quite powerful in the world. If Japan sends submarines, the CCP’s vessels cannot cross the sea."
Xia Yifan, a Chinese democracy activist who lives in Japan, said he observed that Japanese media reports about China's incursion into Japanese waters was very low-profile and do not make a big deal out of the incident, probably because they want to avoid falling into the propaganda of war mobilization.
“Once populism is aroused, it is prone to accidents. [The non-alarmist response to avoid stirring the masses] is also in line with practices of a democratic society,” Xia told the Epoch Times on May 23.
Li Yiming, a media professional in Japan, believes that Japan does not take the CCP seriously due to Japan's superior naval power.
“Since the difference in strength is too wide, each side knows it very clearly,” Li told The Epoch Times on May. 23. “Just like last year, when the Chinese and Russian joint fleet sailed around Japan, the Japanese government did not make a strong statement either.”
"The Japanese are practical: [They] can pretend not to see it on the surface but secretly, they are stepping up preparations for war. This behavior of the CCP [encircling the Sendo Islands] is very humiliating: While it did it over and over again, no one cared about it. Finally, it felt bored and left,” he said.