Chinese ships sail near disputed islands: Japan
FOUR Chinese vessels sailed into territorial waters around disputed islands in the East China Sea, Japan said yesterday, as Tokyo attempts to engage with Beijing to press North Korea over its latest nuclear test.
The four coastguard vessels sailed into waters surrounding the islands, administered as Senkaku by Japan and claimed as Diaoyu by China, and left about 90 minutes later.
The two countries are locked in a long-running dispute over the uninhabited islets. China regards them as its own, rejecting the view it violates Japan’s territorial waters.
The latest incident comes at a tense time for the region after Pyongyang conducted its fifth and most powerful nuclear test on September 9, to the outrage of its neighbours and the international community.
Japan, the US and South Korea have asked China to use its leverage to persuade Pyongyang to comply with UN sanction resolutions.
Japan has routinely complained that China is escalating regional tensions by regularly sending ships to the island chain despite repeated protests from Tokyo.
Yesterday was the first time the Chinese ships had sailed into the waters around the tiny islands since Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met Chinese President Xi Jinping last week at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, China. –