Japan: 7 Chinese Coast Guard Ships, 230 Fishing Boats in Disputed East China Sea Waters
Starting Friday, Chinese Coast Guard ships, accompanied by more than two hundred fishing vessels, entered disputed waters around the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea.
According to the Japanese Foreign Ministry on Friday, Chinese Coast Guard vessels entered the 12 nautical mile territorial sea around the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands at 1:30 p.m., “navigating around” Chinese fishing vessels.
A release by the Japanese government Saturday noted that six Chinese Coast Guard vessels were accompanying “approximately 230 fishing vessels.” The statement notes that the fishing vessels were “in the surrounding waters” while the Chinese Coast Guard ships remained in the contiguous zone.
On Saturday, the Japanese government noted that instead of the situation deescalating after initial Japanese protests, a seventh Chinese Coast Guard ship entered the contiguous zone.
The Japanese Foreign Ministry protested strongly on Saturday evening, telling the Chinese embassy in Japan that “Japan cannot accept China’s activities as they are unilateral escalation that raise tensions on the ground, and requested to have the Chinese Coast Guard vessels leave the contiguous zone immediately.”
Japan released a follow-up press release on Sunday, noting that despite “repeated protests” to China, “seven Chinese Coast Guard vessels have not exited Japan’s contiguous zone surrounding the Senkaku Islands.”
Sunday’s statement notes that “two additional Chinese government vessels entered the contiguous zone,” and that “two vessels intruded into Japan’s territorial waters.” Japan has not specified which “Chinese government vessels” entered the contiguous waters around the disputed islets. Read more…