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Chinese ships sail near Senkaku Islands

Publication Date : 25-09-2012


Three Chinese surveillance ships entered Japanese territorial waters off the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture yesterday morning, their third incursion since September 11, when the government nationalised some of the islets, the Japan Coast Guard (JGC) said.

JCG patrol vessels confirmed two Chinese marine surveillance ships and one fishery surveillance ship had entered Japan's territorial waters near the islands, the JCG said.

According to the 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters in Naha, two of China's State Oceanic Administration surveillance ships, Haijian Nos. 46 and 66, sailed into the contiguous zone around Kubashima island in areas about 44 kilometres northwest of the islet between about 5:15am and 5:20am. The ships then encroached on waters west-northwest of the islet between about 6:40am. and 6:50am.

The patrol vessels demanded the Chinese ships leave the waters. The two marine surveillance ships left the waters off Uotsurijima island between about 1:20pm and 1:40pm yesterday, the JCG said.

At about 10:40am, the Yuzheng No. 310, a vessel belonging to the Chinese Agriculture Ministry's Fisheries Bureau, sailed into territorial waters about 22 kilometres northwest of Taishoto island. About 50 minutes later, the fishery surveillance ship left the area, the JCG said.

"We have strongly protested to China through diplomatic channels, demanding that its public vessels leave [Japan's waters]," Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said at a press conference Monday morning.

Chikao Kawai, a vice foreign minister, lodged a protest with Chinese Ambassador to Japan Cheng Yonghua over the phone yesterday morning and demanded Beijing order the ships to leave Japanese waters immediately.

Cheng reportedly rebuffed Kawai's demand, saying the Senkaku Islands are part of China's territory. Cheng added that both countries should make efforts to continue level-headed dialogue.

Meanwhile, the government upgraded its information liaison office, which was established last Tuesday within the crisis control centre of the Prime Minister's Office, to a countermeasures office.


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