Miyako Strait

The Miyako Strait (宮古海峡 Miyako Kaikyo), also known as the Kerama Gap, is a waterway which lies between Miyako Island and Okinawa Island consisting of an approx. 250km wide passageway with international waters and airspace[1]. It is the widest strait in the Ryukyu Islands.

Location of the Ryukyu Islands
The strait is located between Miyako and Okinawa

Political significance

The Miyako Strait is of global geopolitical significance, as it is one of the few international waterways for China's People's Liberation Army Navy to access the Pacific Ocean from the East China Sea.[2] Japan insists that China has committed to informing them in advance if their Navy sails through the strait, a claim that the Chinese deny has ever been agreed upon. The PLA Navy used the strait on a large scale for the first time in April 2010,[3] an act which has since become a commonplace practice for them to conduct military exercises in the Pacific.[4][5]

Cultural significance

The Miyako Strait represents a cultural and linguistic split between the Southern and Northern Ryukyuan languages, with the north being more influenced by Japanese culture. The Northern Ryukyu Islands have historically been more advanced (socially, technologically, and infrastructurally) than the Southern Ryukyu Islands.[6]

References

  1. ^ Diplomat, Franz-Stefan Gady, The. "China Flies 6 Heavy Long-Range Bombers Near Japan". The Diplomat. Retrieved 2018-02-27.
  2. ^ "China dispatches one of its largest air force fleets ever near Okinawa in show of force to Japan". South China Morning Post. 25 September 2016. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  3. ^ China's Navy Gets Its Act Together, and Gets Aggressive | Danger Room | Wired.com
  4. ^ China Says No Japan Maritime Deal in Place
  5. ^ US can no longer contain China within First Island Chain: Duowei. Retrieved 2013-11-04.
  6. ^ Kerr, George H. Okinawa: History of an Island People. Tokyo: Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1958. 116-117.

Coordinates: 25°23′N 126°25′E / 25.383°N 126.417°E

2017 in Taiwan

Events from the year 2017 in Taiwan, Republic of China. This year is numbered Minguo 106 according to the official Republic of China calendar.

Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning

Liaoning (16; Chinese: 辽宁舰; pinyin: Liáoníng Jiàn) is a Chinese Type 001 aircraft carrier. The first aircraft carrier commissioned into the People's Liberation Army Navy Surface Force, she is classified as a training ship, intended to allow the Navy to experiment, train and gain familiarity with aircraft carrier operations.

Originally laid down in 1985 for the Soviet Navy as the Kuznetsov-class aircraft cruiser Riga, she was launched on 4 December 1988 and renamed Varyag in 1990. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, construction was halted and the ship was put up for sale by Ukraine. The stripped hulk was purchased in 1998 and towed to the Dalian naval shipyard in northeast China.

The ship was rebuilt and commissioned into the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) as Liaoning on 25 September 2012. Its Chinese ship class designation is Type 001. In November 2016, the political commissar of Liaoning, Commodore Li Dongyou, stated that Liaoning was combat ready.

First island chain

The first island chain refers to the first chain of major archipelagos out from the East Asian continental mainland coast. Principally composed of the Kuril Islands, Japanese Archipelago, Ryukyu Islands, Taiwan (Formosa), the northern Philippines, and Borneo; from the Kamchatka Peninsula to the Malay Peninsula. Some definitions of the first island chain anchor the northern end on the Russian Far East coast north of Sahkalin Island, with Sahkalin Island being the first link in the chain. However, others consider the Aleutians as the farthest north-eastern first link in the chain. The first island chain forms one of three island chain doctrines within the Island Chain Strategy.

The first island chain has its purpose in Chinese military doctrine. The People's Republic of China views the first island chain as the area it must secure and disable from American bases, aircraft and aircraft-carrier groups, if in defending itself it must tactically unleash a pre-emptive attack against an enemy. The aim of the doctrine is to seal off the Yellow Sea, South China Sea and East China Sea inside an arc running from the Aleutians in the north to Borneo in the south. According to reports by American think tanks CSBA and RAND, by 2020, China will be well on its way to having the means to achieve its first island chain policy.

Japonic languages

The Japonic or Japanese–Ryukyuan language family includes the Japanese language, spoken in the main islands of Japan, and the Ryukyuan languages, spoken in the Ryukyu Islands. The family is universally accepted by linguists and significant progress has been made in reconstructing the proto-language. The reconstruction implies a split between all dialects of Japanese and all Ryukyuan varieties, probably before the 7th century. The Hachijō language spoken on the Izu Islands is also included, but its position within the family is unclear. There is also some fragmentary evidence suggesting that Japonic languages may once have been spoken in central and southern parts of the Korean peninsula.

Possible genetic relationships with many other language families have been proposed, most systematically with Korean, but none have been conclusively demonstrated.

Military history of Japan

The military history of Japan chronicles a vast time period over three millennia from the Jōmon 1000 BCE into the modern day. It is characterized by a long period of clan warfare until the 12th century CE. This was followed by feudal wars that culminated in military governments known as the Shogunate. Japanese history is distinguished by that the military class with the Shōgun ruled Japan for 676 years from 1192 till 1868 CE. The Shōgun and samurai warriors were de facto at the apex of the Japanese social structure. The aristocratic nobility were nominally above them. The sakoku policy closed Japan from foreigners for 212 years from 1641 to 1853. Feudal militarism transitioned to imperialism in the 19th century after the arrival of Admiral Perry and the elevation of Emperor Meiji. Japan was influenced by western colonial powers and Western imperialism in Asia. This led to Japanese colonialism and rampant imperialism until Japan's defeat in World War II. The 1947 Constitution prohibits Japan's ability to offensively use war against other nations. This led to the Japan Self-Defense Forces. The U.S.-Japan alliance requires the United States to protect Japan and to conduct offensive duties. In 2015, the Constitution was reinterpreted to allow collective self-defense of its allies. Thus Japan has a long military tradition with extensive militarism. Today Japan has the 4th most-powerful military in the world.

As of 1954, the Japan Self-Defense Forces consist of the Ground Self-Defense Force, Maritime Self-Defense Force and Air Self-Defense Force. They are all under the command of the Ministry of Defense. The Prime Minister of Japan is the commander-in-chief, and exercises the authority through the Minister of Defense and the Chair of the Chief of Staff, Joint Staff, which supervises JSDF operations.

Miyako-jima

Miyako Island (宮古島, Miyako-jima, Miyako: Myaaku (ミャーク); Okinawan: Naaku (ナーク)) is the largest and the most populous island among the Miyako Islands of Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. Miyako Island is administered as part of the City of Miyakojima, which includes not only Miyako Island, but also five other populated islands.

Miyako District, Okinawa

Miyako (宮古郡, Miyako-gun, Miyako: Myaaku, Tarama dialect: Meeku, Okinawan: Naaku) is a district located in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, that consists of a single village, Tarama.

Miyako Islands

The Miyako Islands (宮古列島, Miyako-rettō, Miyako: Myaaku, Tarama dialect: Meeku, Okinawan: Naaku) (also Miyako Sima group) are a group of islands in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan, belonging to the Ryukyu Islands. They are situated between the Okinawa Island and Yaeyama Islands.

In the early 1870's, the population of the islands was estimated to number about ten thousand. Miyako island has 55,914 people. A bridge connects Miyako Island to Ikema Island, which has 801 people. Tarama village has 1,214 people, between the two islands of Minna and Tarama.

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