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Japan Protests As Armed Chinese Vessels Violate Its Territorial Waters


Japan has lodged a formal protest against Beijing after four armed Chinese coast guard vessels entered waters that Tokyo considers its territory. This incident marks the first time that four Chinese vessels, appearing to carry cannons, have entered Japan’s territorial waters in the East China Sea near the disputed islands, known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.

Details of the Incident

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi addressed the press, stating, “I am not in a position to state what the Chinese side’s intentions are, but the intrusion of vessels belonging to China’s coast guard into our territory is a breach of international law.” The vessels stayed in the area for more than an hour before leaving shortly after midday.

In response, Tokyo lodged a “strong protest” through diplomatic channels, demanding a swift exit from the area. Hayashi expressed Japan’s discontent, saying, “The intrusion into our territorial waters is extremely regrettable and cannot be tolerated. We will continue to do our utmost to be vigilant and monitor the areas surrounding the Senkaku Islands with a sense of urgency, while dealing calmly and resolutely with China.”

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China’s Response

China’s coastguard separately confirmed that it had patrolled the waters with armed vessels. The ongoing tension between Japan and China over these uninhabited islands has led to numerous confrontations.

Regional Implications

The dispute over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands is part of a broader pattern of territorial tensions involving China. China’s confrontations with the Philippine navy in the South China Sea have also been escalating in other disputed areas.

With Inputs from Reuters