Protest against more Chinese ship ‘intrusions’
JAPAN lodged a fresh diplomatic protest with China yesterday, accusing the country of again sending its coast guard ships into waters surrounding contested islands in the East China Sea.
The two countries are locked in a long-running dispute over the uninhabited islets and tensions over them have been a frequent irritant between the countries.
Tokyo has lodged at least 32 protests through diplomatic channels since August 5 over what it says have been 29 intrusions.
Those sparked Kenji Kanasugi, foreign ministry chief of Asia-Pacific affairs, to phone Guo Yan, minister at the Chinese embassy in Japan, the Japanese ministry said in a statement.
“Despite Japan’s repeated strong protests, the Chinese side has continued to take unilateral actions that raise tensions on the ground, and that is absolutely unacceptable,” Mr Kanasugi told Mr Guo, according to the foreign ministry statement.
Mr Kanasugi also called the intrusions a “violation of Japan’s sovereignty” and “unacceptable”.
The vessels left after being warned off by the Japan Coast Guard, officials said.
Ships of the two countries regularly play cat and mouse in the waters but Japan says that Chinese activity has suddenly picked up this month, with local media speculating it is related to a secretive annual summer gathering of top Chinese leaders at a seaside resort east of Beijing.
China is also involved in maritime disputes in the South China Sea and it reacted angrily last month to a United Nations-backed tribunal ruling that its claims over most of the vital trade artery were invalid. –
Presidential honour guards and students take part in a flag-raising ceremony to mark Indonesia’s 71st Independence Day in Jakarta yesterday.