外文标题：In a test of wills, Japanese fighter pilots confront Chinese
NAHA, Japan: Once a sleepy, sun-soaked backwater, this air base on the southern island of Okinawa has become the forefront of a dangerous test of wills between two of Asia's largest powers, Japan and China.
At least once every day, Japanese F-15 fighter jets roar down the runway, scrambling to intercept foreign aircraft, mostly from China. The Japanese pilots say they usually face lumbering reconnaissance planes that cruise along the edge of Japanese-claimed airspace before turning home. But sometimes - exactly how often is classified - they face nimbler Chinese fighter jets in knuckle-whitening tests of piloting skills, and self-control.
"Intercepting fighters is always more nerve-racking," said Lt. Col. Hiroyuki Uemura, squadron commander of the approximately 20 F-15 fighters stationed here at Naha Air Base. "We hold our ground, but we don't provoke."
The high-velocity encounters over the East China Sea have made the skies above these strategic waters some of the tensest in the region, unnerving Pentagon planners concerned that a slip-up could cause a war with the potential to drag in the United States. Japan's refusal to back down over months of consistent challenges also represents a rare display of military spine by this long-dovish nation, and one that underscores just how far the rise of China and its forceful campaign to control nearby seas has pushed Japan out of its pacifist shell.
Under its nationalistic prime minister, Shinzo Abe, Japan has embarked on the most sweeping overhaul of its defense posture in recent memory. Not only has Abe reversed a decade-long decline in military spending as part of what he calls "proactive pacifism," but his government is also rewriting laws to lift restrictions on Japan's armed forces, which are taking a more active role as far afield as the Gulf of Aden.
Saurabh (Mumbai, India)
China keeps poking its nose everywhere. It will soon be chopped.
SHAKTI OM ()
500 million Indians defecate in the open.
Common Man (INDIA)
Japan is not dovish, it has a military spine much stronger than most nations. It just abstained from war and conflicts and practiced pacifist strategy after the World War 2 devastation and horror it faced. But China now is making a huge mistake of bringing a sleeping warrior into the game. Japan must build up force and pursue an independent defence plan, too much dependence on US can be very unhealthy.
China is full of very wise people and the most petty people on the planet. I have personally known quite a few of both types. But they are all very clever.
Chinese keep on messing with every country in Asian Continent, some day other Asian countries would teach China a lesson for its life time.
Niraj Rana (Pune)
need to control the china's hegemonic attitude
Japanese cannot afford another hiroshima and nagasaki ....Chinese won't have a ally like USA too...
Kaushik Ray (Yerevan)
Japan must be cautious as China is a rogue nation with allies like Pakistan and North Korea.
China is trying everyone's patience, rogue country.
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