Japan lodges protest with Beijing over Chinese ships’ incursion in waters

Tokyo, Sep 28 (EFE).- Japan on Wednesday lodged a protest with Beijing following an incursion by several Chinese Coast Guard ships in Japanese territorial waters near the Senkaku Islands, whose sovereignty is disputed by both countries.

The incident marks the 27th such incident this year and comes a day before the 50th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between Tokyo and Beijing.

At 3:15 am, three Chinese ships entered Japanese territorial waters around the islands (called Diaoyu in Mandarin), which are administered by Tokyo but claimed by China.

The Chinese Coast Guard vessels tracked Japanese fishing boats into the area before Japanese naval patrol ships intervened and ordered them to leave the waters, according to the Japanese government, which called the intrusion a violation of international law.

Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihiko Isozaki described the incident as “extremely regrettable and totally unacceptable.”

He added that Japan will continue to deal with China in a “cool and decisive” manner, local news agency Kyodo reported.

Two other Chinese ships, which appeared to be equipped with autocannons, were also spotted in the area, Japan’s defense ministry said.

The ministry also reported the detection in recent days of another flotilla of seven Chinese and Russian ships near the Izu Islands, located south of Tokyo in the Pacific Ocean in what is considered a joint patrol operation by both countries.

In recent months, Japan has also reported the sailing of Russian ships near its territory, on many occasions as part of joint exercises with China.

Moscow and Tokyo also have a territorial dispute over Kuril Islands since the end of the Second World War.

Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the sanctions imposed by Tokyo in response, relations between both countries have sunk to their lowest level in decades. EFE


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