Actions were made to expel foreign soldiers from Senkaku during the exercise, which included landings from helicopters and boats and included roughly 400 personnel so that the situation did not have time to evolve into a full-scale military war.
Both Japan and China have claimed the Senkaku Islands as part of their territorial claims. Japan claims control over the islands since 1895, whereas China cites Japanese maps from 1783 and 1785 that show the islands as Chinese territory.
After WWII, the United States took possession of the Senkaku Islands, which were ultimately handed over to Japan in 1972. China’s sovereignty claims to the islands, Japan argues, stem from the discovery of precious minerals in their shelf water in the 1970s. In 2012, the Japanese government bought three of the five islands from a private owner, escalating the territorial conflict.