In an apparent move to draw international attention to China flexing its maritime muscles in the East China Sea, the Japan Coast Guard has released a four-minute video showing numerous Chinese vessels from earlier this month advancing near the Senkaku Islands.
From Aug. 5 through Aug. 9, some 200 to 300 Chinese fishing boats accompanied by 28 Chinese government ships were spotted in areas just outside Japanese territorial waters around the Senkakus.
The Japan Coast Guard posted the video on its website Monday documenting some of the 28 breaches it claims were made by Chinese coast guard ships into Japan’s territorial waters, plus 72 by fishing boats.
The Senkakus are controlled by Japan but claimed by China, where they are known as Diaoyu, and Taiwan, where they are called Tiaoyutai.
The video footage shows what the Japan Coast Guard says are its patrol vessels moving into warn the Chinese coast guard ships and fishing vessels to leave Japanese waters.
In the last segment of the video, the 1,500-ton patrol ship Aguni, equipped with a 20-mm cannon and a helicopter landing pad, approaches a Chinese coast guard ship and a fishing boat.
The Aguni flashes a warning on its electronic message board urging the Chinese ships to leave the waters immediately, according to Japanese captions on the video.
“Your ship has intruded into the territorial waters of our country,” the message says, according to the captions.
“Non-innocent passage in the Japanese waters is not allowed. Get out of this area immediately,” the Aguni warned, according to the Japan Coast Guard.
Of 18 Chinese government ships spotted around the Senkakus, seven were equipped with what looked like machine guns, a Japan Coast Guard press statement said.
“Actions by the Chinese side like this, which will escalate the situation, is not tolerable,” it said.
China has usually operated just three government ships from various agencies in the contiguous zone around the Senkakus at any one time, but this number the jumped far higher, the Japan Coast Guard said in the statement released Monday.