Japan sights Chinese, Russian ships near disputed islands

Japan sights Chinese, Russian ships near disputed islands

Japan protested to Beijing after sighting Chinese and Russian warships on Monday just outside its territorial waters near disputed islands in the East China Sea. Japan’s Defense Ministry said a Chinese frigate sailed for several minutes Monday morning inside the “contiguous zone” just outside Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands, which Beijing also claims and calls Diaoyu.

The presence of the Chinese warship was confirmed about 40 minutes after a Russian frigate entered the waters for more than an hour, the ministry said. At the moment it was not clear what was behind the latest Sino-Russian military activity in the area. Japanese defense officials mentioned the possibility that the ships were there to prevent a typhoon.

Japanese government deputy chief of staff Seiji Kihara said Japan filed a protest expressing “serious concern” to Beijing over the incident.

“The Senkaku Islands are an inherent part of Japan’s territory historically and under international law. The government will deal with the matter calmly but firmly to protect Japan’s land, territorial waters and airspace,” Kihara said.

There was no violation of territorial waters, it added. China justified the frigate’s entry and criticized Tokyo’s protest. Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the islands are Chinese territory.

“The activities of Chinese ships in nearby waters are legal and justified,” he told a regular news conference in Beijing. “Japan has no right to make such irresponsible comments.” Tokyo sees the increased Chinese military activity in the South and East China seas as a threat to regional stability. Japan is especially sensitive to Chinese activities near the disputed islands.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.