Monday, March 25, 2013
“We are facing a very severe environment around the Senkaku… So we have expressed concerns to the French government,” stated by Suga Yoshihide, Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan on 18 March 2013 (Japan Times 19 March 2013). Over the weekend, the Japanese media including, Asahi Shimbun, reported that the French firm DCNS sold Beijing two sets of systems used to stabilize a helicopter trying to land on a ship by linking a bar extended from the chopper to deck landing equipment. Tokyo is concerned that the system will help Chinese helicopters to safely take off and land on marine patrol ships during bad weather, expanding the scope of Chinese ships around the Diaoyu Islands (Sankei Shimbun, Mainichi Shimbun, 19 March 2013). From recent reports it sounds like this is first time that the French government sold the system to China since 1989 when the West imposed military sanctions due to China’s crackdown on the student movement. The fact of the matter is that Paris has sold the same equipment to China for years without any concern from Tokyo including both the Japanese media and government (Phoenix News 20 March 2013).
Source: Asahi Shimbun (access date: 25 March 2013)