Reuters: Japan, Philippines to hold first naval drill in South China Sea
Japan and the Philippines will hold their first joint naval drill this month in the South China Sea near a disputed shoal claimed by Beijing, sources in Tokyo and the Philippines said. The May 12 maritime safety exercise, which will practice the code for unplanned encounters at sea, known as CUES, is part of an agreement signed by Japan and the Philippines in January aimed at tightening security cooperation.
Reuters: With a $42 billion defense budget, is Japan a hawk in dove?s clothing?
Japan?s identity as a pacifist nation, as defined by Article 9 of its constitution, is increasingly at odds with reality. The Japanese Naval Self-Defense Force is the second-most powerful naval force in the region, trailing only its close ally, the United States Navy. Japan has the seventh-largest defense budget in the world; its Ministry of Defense is the largest department in the entire Japanese government.
The National Interest: China Changes Its Strategy Towards Japan
Over the past several months a gradual but significant shift has taken place in China's policy toward Japan. The change is a result of Beijing's recognition that its unrelenting pressure on Tokyo since the Japanese Government purchased several of the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands from a private owner in September 2012 has produced far greater costs than benefits for China.