Watching Over the Senkakus: Videos to be Posted by National Security Group

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A research group created by several members of the National Diet of Japan plans to start broadcasting videos of the situation in the Senkaku Islands, located in Ishigaki City, Okinawa Prefecture, starting this fall, we learned on June 21.

The Congressional National Security Research Group (NSRG), chaired by former Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma, hopes that by posting videos to the internet, he can raise awareness of the tense situation involving China’s actions around the group. islands.

An official announcement of the details is expected in the near future.

Incursions by Chinese ships into Japanese territorial waters in the region have become daily, with the Chinese government claiming the islands are its national territory.

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The group plans to start broadcasting documentary videos as early as September and hopes to start live broadcasts about six months later.

The plan calls for the non-profit Center for International Strategic Studies (CISS), of which Kyuma is executive director, to manage the operation, as well as the establishment of a “Senkaku Islands Information Center”.

Local group staff will approach the Senkaku by boat, then use on-board or drone-mounted cameras to film. The videos will then be sent to other staff on Ishigaki Island 170 kilometers away who will upload them to the Internet.

The drones used in the project will operate strictly within the parameters of the current law. Initially, only the pre-recorded videos will be broadcast, because the processing of the information will take several days. However, NSRG aims to have developed the live streaming capability within six months.

The group estimates that it will cost tens of millions of Japanese yen (hundreds of thousands of US dollars) per month to cover transmission and personnel costs. It plans to solicit contributions from the general public.

However, he will also seek cooperation from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, which still retains the funds raised when former Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara proposed that Tokyo buy the islands, which were privately owned until September 2012.

At that time, the Japanese government stepped in and nationalized the islands.

Ships belonging to the Chinese Coast Guard continue to be aggressive in the waters around the Senkaku Group. In fact, as of June 21, they had been sighted in the seas adjacent to the Japanese islands for a record 129 consecutive days.

The Japanese government continues to reiterate its position that “the Senkaku Islands are the inherent territory of Japan and no territorial issues exist”.

Nonetheless, the NSRG believes that there is a pressing need for greater risk awareness among the Japanese public regarding the volatile situation in the waters around the Senkaku Islands.

(Read this article by Sankei Shimbun in Japanese on this link.)

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Author: Le Sankei Shimbun

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