Tokyo spy agency warns Beijing also bolstering forces for military control of oil shipping routes
TOKYO — China is escalating a campaign of military maritime coercion against Japan’s Senkaku Islands, according to Japanese intelligence data disclosed as part of a joint Pentagon-Japan research program.
Additionally, China is doubling the size of its coast guard forces over the next five years to prevent the disruption of oil supplies that travel from the Middle East through the Indian Ocean and South China Sea, according to Pentagon-sponsored reports about the joint U.S.-Japan collaboration. Two reports produced by a contractor for the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment, a secretive research group, provide a rare glimpse of Japanese intelligence assessments of Chinese military activities in the East China Sea and South China Sea.
In addition to adding large numbers of new coast guard and navy ships to its fleets in Southeast Asia, China is building military facilities on newly created islands in the South China Sea. It will eventually militarize the East China Sea using floating oil rig platforms, according to analyses provided by Japan’s Cabinet Intelligence and Research Office, known as CIRO.
According to CIRO, China has greatly increased unilateral oil and gas development near the line separating Chinese and Japanese waters near the Senkakus.