It’s always hard to tell if tensions are at a new level, or they are at the same plateau. However, today, we have a new mix of factors: the Japanese nationalist flotilla, eight Chinese government ships, the Japanese war shrine visit.
From the BBC:
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, pressed in parliament to say how Japan would react to a Chinese attempt to land on the tiny islands, said it would be “natural to force them to leave”.
“Since it has become the Abe government, we have made sure that if there is an instance where there is an intrusion into our territory or it seems that there could be landing on the islands then we will deal will it strongly,” he said.