- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 17, 2020

Japanese lawmakers are urging their government to conduct joint military drills with the U.S. focused on a sector of islands in the East China Sea in an effort to secure Japan’s hold over the disputed islands that China claims as its territory.

The lawmakers on Thursday composed a draft proposal calling for the drills around the uninhabited Kuba and Taisho islands, which are part of what Japan has dubbed the Senkaku islands. China refers to the grouping as the Diaoyu Islands.

“The Defence Ministry should conduct joint drills with the United States around the Nansei Islands chain including Kuba island and Taisho island,” the proposal said, according to a draft viewed by Reuters.

It also calls for an increase in funding for security of the islands as well as additional ships and coastguardsmen to enforce maritime law around the islands. The proposal is expected to be submitted to the government next week, the publication reported.

The proposal comes amid strained relations between Japan and China, as well as the U.S. and China, as both Washington and Tokyo have sparred with Beijing over increasingly assertive policies.

Japan warned in its latest defense white paper published in July that China has been boosting their maritime and air force activity around the islands.

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