Japan Warns China Over Warship and Submarines Sailing Near Contested Waters

Japan Warns China Over Warship and Submarines Sailing Near Contested Waters

A Chinese frigate was also observed Thursday entering the zone, prompting Japan to protest that action.

In addition, director-general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau Kenji Kanasugi met with Chinese ambassador Cheng Yonghua, protesting the incident.

Earlier in the day, the Japanese Kyodo news agency reported, citing the country's Defense Ministry, that a Chinese frigate and an unidentified foreign submarine had been detected outside Japanese territorial waters near the islands.

For example, in 2016, for the first time in years, a PLAN frigate entered the contiguous zone of the Senkaku Islands.

Sugiyama expressed "great concern" over the provocations and strongly urged China not to hinder efforts to improve the countries' relationship.

The uninhabited islets are also claimed by China and Taiwan, where they are known as Diaoyu and Tiaoyutai, respectively.

"Senkaku is Japan's territory and territorial waters internationally and historically and Japan's claim about the contiguous zone is absolutely correct", Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters Friday morning. Japan "intends to stringently defend its land, territorial waters and airspace", and is handling the situation "firmly and calmly", he said.

More news: Keith Jackson, iconic college football announcer, dies at 89

Japan's NHK reported Japan mobilized a response near Taisho after a Chinese ship was detected in the zone adjacent to territorial waters. It left Thursday afternoon.

China urges Japan to refrain from stoking conflict over the islands and to endeavor through its actions to improve bilateral ties, he said. "China's decision to guard the sovereignty of the Diaoyutai territory is unshaken".

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe responded to the incidents Thursday by giving instructions to prepare for all possible contingencies and to coordinate closely with the US, according to a statement released by his Cabinet.

Japan protested to China on Friday after a foreign submarine in waters near disputed islands in the East China Sea was confirmed to be Chinese, calling it a unilateral action and a "serious escalation" that raised bilateral tensions.

Maritime confrontations and jet interceptions between China and Japan have become commonplace in recent years, especially around the Senkakus.

The ministry is closely monitoring the submarine's move and collecting information.

The officials say a Maritime Self-Defense Force vessel on Wednesday afternoon spotted a submarine sailing underwater off Miyako Island in the southern prefecture.

Related Articles