Japan Warns It May Fire On Chinese Aircraft Over Disputed Islands; China Retorts: "There Will Be No Second Shot"

Tyler Durden's picture

A week ago we reported that following what China said was a response to counter "Japanese military aircraft disrupting the routine patrols of Chinese administrative aircraft" over the East China Sea, the world's most populous country (and one which has the largest, 2.25 million strong, standing army) scrambled several jets and put its military on high alert. Now, it is the turn of Japan, and its brand new militant and nationalistic government, to "retaliate" and escalate tensions by one more notch, in the process crashing any hope that Chinese imports of Japanese goods may resume, and obviating the ongoing temporary plunge in the yen (which while doing nothing to boost exports to this 20% trading partner, has made imports so expensive, inflation in the past two months has already soared well above the 2% target for various key goods as previously reported).

Moments ago, Japan says it may fire warning shots and take other measures to keep foreign aircraft from violating its airspace in the latest verbal blast between Tokyo and Beijing that raises concerns that a dispute over hotly contested islands could spin out of control.

AP reports:

Japanese officials made the comments after Chinese fighters tailed its warplanes near the islands recently. The incident is believed to be the first scrambling of Chinese fighters since the tensions began to rise last spring.


According to Chinese media, a pair of J-10 fighters was scrambled after Japanese F-15s began tailing a Chinese surveillance plane near the disputed islands in the East China Sea. China has complained the surveillance flight did not violate Japanese airspace and the F-15s were harassing it.


It was the first time the Chinese media has reported fighters being mobilized to respond to Japanese air force activity in the area and comes amid what Japan says is a rapid intensification of Chinese air force activity around the islands, where Japanese and Chinese coast guard ships have squared off for months.


Though there have been no outright clashes, the increased sea and air operations have fueled worries that the situation could spin out of control.


"Every country has procedures for how to deal with a violation of its territory that continues after multiple cautionary measures," Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said on Jan. 16 when asked if tracer shots would be fired against intruding aircraft that refuse to change course. "We have response measures ready that are consistent with global standards."


Onodera said the use of warning shots has long been provided for under Japan's defense policies and is widely accepted under international rules of engagement. Japan's air force has not actually resorted to them since 1987--against a Soviet aircraft--and none were fired last week.


But Chinese and Japanese media have suggested Tokyo is publicly floating the possibility to test China's reaction.

Perhaps it may surprise Japan, but "China's reaction" will hardly be one of a dog retreating with its tail between its legs. In fact, it will likely be quite the opposite.

And the fact that the US has once again stepped in, and is once again on the side of the party that started this whole escalation fiasco (that would be Japan for those who have forgotten), will not help:

The escalation of tensions has worried the United States, with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton saying on Jan. 18 that while the U.S. doesn't take a position on who has sovereignty over the islands, it opposes "any unilateral actions that would seek to undermine Japanese administration."


That brought a sharp retort from the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Jan. 20. The comments "ignore the facts" that the islands are China's inherent territory, spokesman Qin Gang said in a statement that urged the U.S. to adopt "a responsible attitude."


In Beijing last week, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said China is on "high alert" and suggested Japan is escalating the tensions over the islands, called the Diaoyu in China and the Senkaku in Japan. Taiwan also claims the small isles, which are uninhabited but may be surrounded by valuable underwater natural resources.


"Chinese planes and ships are exercising normal jurisdiction in the waters and airspace surrounding the Diaoyu Islands," spokesman Hong Lei said. "We are opposed to the operations of Japan's planes and ships, which violate our rights around Diaoyu. We are on high alert against this escalation."


As is often the case, Chinese media quoted military academics with a much more fiery response.


"Japan's desire to fire tracer warning shots as a way of frightening the Chinese is nothing but a joke that shows the stupidity, cruelty and failure to understand their own limitations," Maj. Gen. Peng Guangqian of the Chinese Academy of Military Sciences was quoted as saying by the China News Service and other state media.


"Firing tracer bullets is a type of provocation; it's firing the first shot," he said. "Were Japan to dare to fire tracers, which is to say fire the first shot, then China wouldn't stint on responding and not allow them to fire the second shot."

Sounds like a catalyst to double down and buy every ES contract in sight: just think of the GDP boost and appropriate fiscal multiplier once Japan is levelled.

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CPL's picture

And then she sayd...all for a remote possibility of oil under a bird shit covered rock with no certain guarantees by any geologist. 

vmromk's picture

The solution is simple......PRINT MORE YEN.

lolmao500's picture

Or nuke that island. Or Beijing. Whatever.

flacon's picture

When stimulus fails there is always war to make us all prosper. 

TerminalDebt's picture

Bullish for people that make stuff that blows up

Bullish for people that make stuff that get blown up


win - win

Stackers's picture

Currency War - check

Trade War - check

Real War - .........

trav777's picture

Japan didn't start this shit, China did.

The Chinese military is a piece of shit

post turtle saver's picture

I have to say China's approach to debt forgiveness is interesting:

1) Start war with Japan over a stupid rock.

2) Watch the U.S. get pulled into that war due to treaty obligations.

3) Lose the war because the U.S. Navy makes your navy look like plastic tugboats in a kid's bathtub.

4) U.S. debt forgiven as a condition of surrender to the U.S. and Japan.

5) China goes back to making iJunk, business as usual resumes.

Bicycle Repairman's picture

China doesn't have to do anything. Japan is dead man walking.  Demographics, economics and Fukushima.  By 2040 Japan belongs to China without firing a shot.

Are the Chinese a patient people?

Thomas's picture

This event may be foreshadowing of what Kyle Bass was talking about as debt leads to war.

HardlyZero's picture

3 Chinese Ships Enter Japanese Waters Near Disputed Islands — Nikkei down


disabledvet's picture

I gotta say this is one of those events i simply have no understanding of...right up there with the Middle East actually. I did live in Taiwan for six months and for the record i was VERY impressed. My first thought is that there's no way these two countries are EVER going to war over these little friggin' islands. And my next thought is "these two countries are going to war over these two friggin' islands." "Feels like World War II." I WILL be if not listening to the President's inaugural then certainly reading it. I wish my expectations were higher...but quite honestly having been to a few i've always come away pretty unimpressed. Still...that office is VERY powerful. And to date this President has with darn near no resources whatsoever scored a couple of big time victories in the Middle East. I do grant that the follow through has been catastrophic (sound familiar?) but one could argue that this President is simply lacking in the stature to really "haul out the big guns" and "bring America on board the O train." Still...sometimes events have a way of basically "creating the gravitas" you might say. And needless to say with the USA getting a zero percent financing deal "for the forseeable future" there's a lot of "gravity" that can be created if the folks in DC suddenly found themselves incapable of doing anything BUT working together.

Lore's picture



Re: "Japan didn't start this shit, China did."

One could argue with some merit that this is more chiefly the handiwork of the Military Industrial Complex as an enforcement arm of the central banksters. Japan and other proxies are now armed to the teeth with debt-financed munitions, and the stuff needs to be used in order to defend the purchasing power of the host currencies against forces that would undermine and replace the current global debt oligarchy with something more market-favorable.  (Imagine the unemployment if all these war factories are shut down.) Isn't it interesting that all the major leaders to be deposed or to experience health issues in recent years come from countries that try to repatriate or otherwise protect and insulate their sovereign precious metal holdings?  Now we see Germany and the Netherlands taking the intiative, and others talk about doing the same. How soon before we see some kind of confrontation that threatens der Vaterland? 

If I was a member of the EU, I could not get out fast enough. This shit is going to come down FAST and HARD. We are going to wake up one morning, and the whole world will look different.

IMO the only way to pre-empt this mess would be for every country at the table to repatriate its holdings AND buy every extra ounce they can get their hands on via the market. The bankers need to be removed from positions of influence in this game, and TBTF institutions need to be allowed to fail. Banker war does NOT need to become a geopolitical war. But good men in positions of influence need to take steps.  They must know that already.

HardlyZero's picture

Chinese Kabuki or is that high-level Yin vs. Yang, maybe high-noon at Tokyo ?

Lore's picture

That's silly. This is real.  Sovereign nations need to become free and solvent again. It's the only way we're going to avoid very big trouble ahead. If it means debt collapse, then let it collapse.

The slogan for the 21st century should be: LET REAL MARKETS WORK.

AldousHuxley's picture



In a real market, Americans would get poorer.

Lore's picture

Re: "In a real market, Americans would get poorer."

Do you see Americans getting richer? 

No offense, but your thinking is upside down.


GetZeeGold's picture




Should have let MacArthur finish the job......just sayin.

Matt's picture

If it was not for US Hegemony and using military force, bankers, etc to force people to use USD and sell oil to America, etc, America's GDP would be maybe $20 Trillion. If you take out all the derivatives and other BS, you are closer to maybe $10 trillion. Imagine America with 1/6 it's current GDP. That's what we would be looking at with truly free markets, I am certain.

EnslavethechildrenforBen's picture

It's all smoke and mirrors. GDP was originally gross domestic produce. As in carrots, meat, eggs. But then again they used to use real money like it says in the constitution, before they turned the earth into a slave labor death camp.

post turtle saver's picture

Well, that's what has me wondering... why would China be stupid enough to get pulled into this to begin with? Maybe things aren't as champagne and roses as we'd like to think when it comes to the Chicoms. It's like cracks are starting to show.

wee-weed up's picture

Maybe the ChiComs know how Obama would react...

Namely, he would do what he always does... nothing!

HardlyZero's picture

Explains the Google trip to NK...Google gets the flaming tire neclace...its Google's fault.  But they get the rebuild contracts on a distributed server farm based in NK.

Fix the NK/SK issue and this thing goes away...give it away to NK, and then NK will be SK sock puppets /sark.

John_Coltrane's picture

Well, he could suggest outlawing "assault-type" rifles in both Japan and China (including their armies).

Matt's picture

Obama doing nothing?! He just expanded the War on Terror to include all of Africa by opening a new front in 35 countries. How much more do you want him to do!? Shit, if this is him doing nothing, I am terrified to see what seeing him being overwhlemed would be like.

Chief KnocAHoma's picture

You forgot 2A -

Decide whether to lose or start nuking South Korea, Japan, and the US west coast. Chances are 50/50 and may come down to a coin flip.

Heads we nuke the yanks. Tails we get beheaded by the Japs.... hm.

PLira's picture

(rummaging through the desk) "Where the fuck did I put hose launch codes".

ACP's picture

So is this the part where the world gets to see that China's military machine gives about as much attention to quality as the rest of its manufactuting base?

Popo's picture

J20's vs. F15's ... LOL. Japan will mop up very quickly.

pods's picture

I saw the videos, Chinese Air Force blew those "Migs" out of the sky.

Cool soundtrack too.


Dingleberry's picture

China lives in a very, very bad neighborhood. They are historical enemies with India (a billion people), Vietnam (who kicked their ass two decades ago, last I recall), Japan, Russia and South Korea.  They can't exactly act like they're the only guy with a 10-inch schlong walking around.

And their demographics aren't exactly rosy, either.

War would not be good for them either, especially if their export market implodes.

ItchyBeard's picture

I think you will find that China and India have gotten along pretty well throughout history until the British came along.

Two Towers AU AG's picture

Maybe both countries waited for faster means to transport millions across the himalayas to fight a war.. Twas not possible till end of WW2. :)

Dingleberry's picture

I guess those border wars and China backing Pakistan are little "nuisances" to India? China can have a billion-man army. Doesn't do much good when an ocean is involved. Ever hear of Taiwan?

ItchyBeard's picture

Those border disputes and China backing Pakistan (which did not exist till 1947) are recent events. Both China & India have existed peacefully for centuries before that. So they are not 'historical' enemies.

Ignatius's picture

I wouldn't count on this remaining a simple bar fight from which we can just sit back and amuse ourselves.

Things that go bump's picture

Things get broken and it scares the ladies - bad for business.

Ookspay's picture

Lol... For sure, China could cull it's herd by a few hundred million and never bat an eye and I think Japan has the seventy year itch. Let the games begin.

mumcard's picture

The only ones itching in Japan are old men.  The youth of Japan are all watching anime porn or reading manga on the train to a cosplay convention.   They are soft.

Son of Loki's picture

The love doll industry is one of the pillars of their economy. Why? "They don’t nag, they never complain and they don’t cheat."


"A lot of Japanese men are obsessed with anime and manga girls, and these realistic love dolls gave them the chance to actually fulfill their fantasies of spending some time with their favorite characters. Some have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars buying dozens of high-end love dolls, made of silicon, and feel much more comfortable in their presence than they would in that of a real woman. They don’t nag, they never complain and they don’t cheat."



The Japanese men are on the ball in this aspect. Here's more for those interested in a booming industry:






See how they're made here:


TWSceptic's picture

When stimulus fails there is always war to make us all prosper. 


Or evil aliens perhaps.

Vendetta's picture

indeed, the war of terror the past 12 years has done wonders  ...

FEDbuster's picture

Didn't Max Keiser predict that the Yen would lead the way in the Worldwide Currency War hyperinflation by March or April 2013?  Which according to Kyle Bass will lead to a real World War.  Here we go, duck and cover.