Tokyo, Aug 4 (EFE).- The Japanese government said Thursday five ballistic missiles fired by China during its military maneuvers fell in the waters of its exclusive economic zone (SEZ).
The defense ministry announced that the missiles fell inside itss EEZ, prompting the Japanese authorities to lodge a diplomatic protest before Beijing.
China began military drills using live-fire around Taiwan, about 160 kilometers (about 99 miles) from the southwestern tip of the Japanese archipelago, on Thursday in response to a visit by United States House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the self-governed island.
Japan detected nine Chinese ballistic missile launches between 3-4pm local time (6-7am GMT), of which five fell inside their EEZ, Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi told the media.
The Chinese military exercises in the Taiwan Strait have led to the closure of maritime and airspace in six areas around the island, considered by Beijing as a part of its territory.
“This is a grave issue that concerns our country’s national security and the safety of the people,” Kishi said, adding that it was the first time a Chinese ballistic missile had landed within the waters of its EEZ.
The missiles landed in the waters near the island of Hateruma, in the Okinawa archipelago, in the extreme southwest of Japan.
The incident comes amid rising tensions between the countries in recent months, after Tokyo denounced an increase in Chinese naval military activities around the Senkaku Islands, administered by Japan but claimed by Beijing, which calls them Diaoyu. EFE