Japan and US insist on continuing Japan-China dialogue over the Senkaku islands; Japan to provide supplies to Syrian rebels; Japanese SDF and US military start joint exercises to ‘recapture’ remote island
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  • During a telephonic conversation on June 13 between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US President Barack Obama, both leaders agreed on the necessity to continue Tokyo-Beijing dialogue on the disputed Senkaku islands in the East China Sea. The two leaders also reaffirmed their close cooperation in realizing a nuclear-weapon-free North Korea. 1

    The Japanese government has decided to provide supplies, including vehicles and power generators, to the Syrian antigovernment rebels in order to assist them in toppling the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. However Tokyo assures that those supplies are not intended to be used for military purposes or to fuel the civil war in the country. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is to make the announcement in this regard during the upcoming G-8 Summit. 2

    In other developments, the Japanese Self-Defense Forces (SDF) and US military on June 10, started off joint exercises aimed at ‘recapturing’ a remote island at a US Navy base in San Diego. The exercise is scheduled to continue till June 26. This is a significant development considering that Chinese government ships allegedly continue to intrude into Japanese waters around the disputed Senkaku islands. The Japanese Defense Ministry maintains that ongoing exercises are necessary to enhance the security of the Senkaku and other islands situated between Kyushu and Taiwan. The Chinese government however has strongly objected to such development and insists on cancelling those exercises. 3