Senkaku conflict takes Japan and China a step closer to war

US troops are returning to Subic Bay in the Philippines (photo:dpa)
US troops are returning to Subic Bay in the Philippines (photo:dpa)

The conflict between China and Japan over the Senkaku Islands escalated when both sides moved from maritime scuffles to the use of airpower in their territorial dispute. The Senkaku crisis in the East China Sea involves global players which both have new leaders wanting to establish themselves. The dispute has also caused both China and Japan economic damage. Japan considers it is defending itself and could call on the United States if attacked.

SMALL, unpopulated islands around the globe are becoming contested, strategic hotspots with a combination of historical claims, competing economic interests and national pride.

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