Three Chinese vessels enter territorial waters near Senkakus


Three Chinese maritime surveillance ships sailed inside Japanese territorial waters near the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea on Thursday morning, according to the Japan Coast Guard.

It is the first time in four days that Chinese government ships have entered Japanese waters. The Chinese vessels entered the waters shortly after 7 a.m. and remained there until around 9:20 a.m.

Shinsuke Sugiyama, director general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, lodged a protest by phone with Han Zhiqiang, Chinese minister-counselor to Japan, who reiterated China’s claim over the sovereignty of the islands.

Responding to the coast guard’s warning not to enter Japanese waters, one of the vessels replied by radio that the Senkakus have been Chinese territory since ancient times, according to the 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture.

The three ships continued to sail in the contiguous zone just outside Japan’s territorial waters. Two Chinese fisheries patrol vessels were also spotted traveling in the zone.

Japan and China remain at odds over the sovereignty of the uninhabited islands. The dispute reignited after the Japanese government purchased three of the five main islands in the Senkaku group from a private Japanese owner last September.

With regard to the territorial issue, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday called for Beijing’s efforts to improve relations with Tokyo.

“Japan has left the door open at every level,” he said at a Diet session. “We want to restore a relationship under which we can have frank discussions.”

Meanwhile, a fisheries cooperative in southwestern Japan’s Kagoshima Prefecture said Thursday two fishing boats from the city of Ibusuki were tracked by two Chinese ships at close range in waters close to Uotsuri Island, the largest of the Senkakus, in early February.

The two Japanese boats gave up fishing in the area as the Chinese ships sailed close to them for about six hours, according to the cooperative.

  • James Ong

    How is it possible for Japan to restore relationship with China when its actions are full of provocations, inciting war and becoming a clear cut enemy of China? Impossible, as Japan is an enemy of China and will be so, till the end of this age.

    Japan has failed miserably in fulfilling its obligations under two WW2 treaties, by failing to return Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands to China. And now, with US’ support, Japan is acting like a gangster in attempting to enforce control over the islands. The status has changed as otherwise why are Chinese vessels able to ply and patrol the islands. It is clearly manifested for the world to see that Japan was never the owner of the islands and so, is unable and afraid to stop the Chinese patrols.

    According to Meiji era documents unearthed by Nicholas
    Kristof of the New York Times, in 1885, Japan acknowledged China as the owner
    ( And so, China is the owner of Diaoyu Islands and no nation on Earth, can change that fact.

    Though the world had gone through two world wars, US
    and Japan are still eager to provoke China to a war, and possibly to another world war. Though Japan was nuked by US, ravaged by Russia in WW2 and lost WW2, but yet, the lessons of WW2 have not taught it to avoid war at all cost.

  • forsetiboston

    Senkaku are Japanese. Time to get a backbone Abe.

  • MarkYY

    Unfortunately for you, the rest of the world doesn’t seem to think Japan is the aggressor here.

    Let’s see, was it Japanese destroyers that acquired fire control radar against Chinese ships? No, the reverse is true.

    Was it a Japanese trawler in 2010 that rammed Chinese Coast Guard ships? No wrong again.

    it Japan that had violent protests against Chinese owned businesses,
    causing Bilions of dollars of damage, inflicting innocent Chinese
    bystanders with both both verbal and physical abuse?

    Was it the
    Japanese government that allowed Japanese protesters to hurl
    rocks/bottles/projectiles at the Chinese embassy while Japanese security
    forces stood by and laughed?

    Was it the Japanese Government that
    suddenly removed a 1950 document that was written by the Japanese
    government that said explicitly that the Senkaku’s belonged to China,
    and now, it can’t be viewed for “technical reasons”?

    Nicholas Kristof is a very well known Japan basher, I wouldn’t expect anything less from him.

    Do you want me to continue?

    In every case I listed above, China was the offending party, not Japan.

    addition, with the territorial disputes China has with the Philippines,
    Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Indonesia, who hasn’t seemed to learn
    from War?