Japan is worried that China is building 16 oil rigs in order to exploit oil reserves in the Japanese part of the sea.
Japanese forces are currently bound by a postwar Constitution that prevents them playing a combat role outside Japan. Pacifist groups and numerous legal scholars have challenged the legislation.
A round-up of global commentary for the June 8, 2015, weekly magazine.
In a letter to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, 187 scholars say Japan's wartime history has become 'distorted by nationalist invective' at a time of growing regional tensions.
At a time when America wants to deepen its relationship with Pacific allies, the historic rancor between Japan and South Korea is worsening – with Seoul accusing Japan of blatant untruths about abuses in World War II.
Secretary Ashton Carter is discussing new military agreements with Japan and South Korea this week on his first trip to the region. North Korea fired missiles into the sea as he arrived.
This week's round-up of global commentary includes what Japan can learn from Germany about dealing with its history, why the European Union should only rely on NATO forces, a measured response to terrorism in London, a stand for asylum seekers in Israel, and how Africa's ungoverned spaces contributed to the spread of Boko Haram.
The situation looks grim for a Jordanian pilot and a Japanese journalist who the Islamic State are trying to use to gain the release of a woman who helped murder 58 people in Amman in 2005.
The announcement from Amman came just ahead of an IS deadline to kill a captured Jordanian pilot if a sought-after suicide bomber is not released. The fate of a Japanese journalist held under threat by IS remains uncertain.
Its new hostage video calls on Japan, whose prime minister is touring the Middle East, to ends its 'foolish' support of the US-led campaign against Islamic State, and marks the first time the group has demanded cash in a video.