Tokyo, Jul 5 (EFE).- Japan on Tuesday slammed the entry of two Chinese coast guard vessels to its territorial waters and said it violated international law.
Japanese government spokesperson Hirokazu Matsuno called the ships’ entry unfortunate and said that Japan will continue to monitor the situation and take serious action.
Matsuno’s remarks came hours after the Chinese coast guard ships were sighted in Japan’s territorial waters near the Senkaku Islands (called Diaoyu in China) early Tuesday, and a day after a Chinese frigate sailed inside the “contiguous zone” just outside Japanese territorial waters around the islands.
Tuesday’s was the 15th such intrusion this year, according to the Japanese coast guard, which said that its patrol vessels ordered the two Chinese ships to leave the waters immediately.
On Monday, a Chinese frigate sailed in the contiguous zone for six minutes, about 40 minutes after a Russian warship was in the area, the Japanese defense ministry said.
It is the first time since June 2018 that a Chinese military ship has entered the area near the Senkaku Islands and led the Japanese government to lodge a protest to China through diplomatic channels, pointing out that the “Senkaku islands are an inherent part of Japan’s territory historically and under international law.”
The Senkakus, a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, are under Japanese control, although China and Taiwan also claim sovereignty over the area.
Japan says that China and Taiwan began to claim sovereignty over the Senkakus in the 1970s after the discovery of potential oil reserves in the East China Sea. EFE