TOKYO: Two Chinese ships illegally entered the Japanese territorial waters near the disputed Senkaku Islands on Saturday, according to Japan’s security service.
Citing NHK broadcaster, Sputnik reported that the incident occurred at 16:00 pm (07:00 GMT), with the Japanese Coast Guard Service urging violators to leave the country’s territorial waters. This is despite Japanese defence minister Nobuo Kishi last week conveying to his Beijing counterpart Wei Fenghe about Tokyo’s strong concerns over Beijing’s regular attempts to “unilaterally change the status quo by coercion”.
In October, two Chinese vessels stayed in the disputed waters for about 50 hours, marking the longest intrusion into the waters in eight years.
This year, Japan has registered 24 cases of Chinese ships’ violation of its sea border, Sputnik said. China has been increasing its maritime activities in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea over the past few months, partly in response to Beijing’s concerns over the increasing US military presence in the region.
The Japanese government maintains the islands are an inherent part of Japan’s territory, in terms of history and international law. It says there is no issue of sovereignty to be resolved over them.