Japan says Chinese Coast Guard ships have breached its territorial waters for the longest time in a decade

of japan On Friday, Chinese ships entered Japanese waters in the East China Sea in the early hours of Tuesday and continued to survey a Japanese fishing boat operating in the area before exiting Thursday evening, the Coast Guard said.
At one point on Thursday, one of the Chinese ships came within 1.9 miles (3 kilometers) of Japanese-controlled Senkaku IslandsWhat is known as Diaoyu Island in China, according to the Coast Guard, is well beyond the internationally recognized 12-mile (19.3 kilometer) boundary that defines the country’s territorial waters.

Japan’s Coast Guard sent its own patrol ships to the region and called on Chinese ships to leave Japan’s territorial waters immediately, it said.

Such infiltration is not uncommon in the disputed area. Tokyo and Beijing both lay claim to the uninhabited islands, but Japan has administered them since 1972. Taiwan, which Beijing considers a Chinese province, also claims ownership of the islands.

The tension is on a rocky chain 1,200 miles (1,900 km) southwest of Tokyo. boil for generationsHundreds of years old with claims on them.

Chinese officials have repeatedly said that it is China’s inherent right to patrol the waters around the islands. China’s foreign ministries and national defense ministries did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the Japanese coast guard’s statement on Friday.

The Japanese coast guard said the latest incursion marked the longest time spent by Chinese government ships in the waters since 2012, when Tokyo bought some of the islands from a private Japanese owner.

Prior to this, the longest incursion took place in October 2020, when a Chinese vessel was stalled for more than 57 hours.

The latest example comes amid growing friction between the two neighbours, especially as China is cautious about Japan’s ties with the United States.

Last month, Tokyo hosted a summit for the increasingly active Quad Security Group, made up of Japan, the United States, Australia and India. Beijing sees the group as part of US efforts to control it.

Hours after the end of the summit, Chinese and Russian air forces conducted joint strategic air patrols over the Sea of ​​Japan, the East China Sea and the western Pacific Ocean, which the Chinese Defense Ministry called part of the annual military cooperation plan.

Earlier this week, Japan’s Defense Ministry said it observed at least two Chinese warships and a supply ship in the Izu Islands, about 500 kilometers (310 mi) south of Tokyo. One of those ships appears to be the Lhasa, a Type 055 guided-missile destroyer and one of China’s most powerful surface ships.

The ministry said the group has been operating in the waters near Japan since June 12.