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.

  • 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.

    • Christopher-trier

      Other documents written later by China acknowledged Japanese ownership of the islets. China is acting like the aggressor, not Japan. China is belligerent, not Japan. Japan is not expanding its territorial claims, it merely formalised a technicality. China is expanding its territorial claims and picking fights with Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and the Philippines. No, what China is doing is looking at its image in the mirror and and calling it Japan.

    • beowulf20

      Interesting comments. You might need to revise a good portion of it and come back to adjust your comments from what the Chinese government told you what to say specifically.

    • Far East

      I read the article you mention too, and the document it refers to does in now way states the Japanese recognized ownership by the Qing empire over the islands. The author even writes: “China seemed to acquiesce to Japanese sovereignty between 1945 and 1970”. Those documents this article refers to merely states what even now the Japanese recognizes as historical fact ( ), i.e. that there was a tense political situation at that time (remember there was soon after the sino-Japan war and the Shimonoseki Treaty in 1895), and the document highlight the prudence of the Japanese Government at that time in this tight political context.

      Sorry to break your dreams.

      There has been the Treaty of San Francisco signed in 1951 by 50 nations making and recognizing what Japan is today, and even with Taiwan with the Treaty of Taipei signed in 1952. The Postdam Declaration of 1945, made at gun point was rather nothing more than what it says, ie a declaration, but China uses this only because it is convenient to support its claim, but unfortunately this is incomplete and cherry-picked biased historical data.

      As for the history on the Senkaku, the Chinese Government is trying to refer to some historical documents that mention those islands as a marker in their route to the Ryukyu (Okinawa, part of Japan), but emissary from China at the time used that route only 23 times during 507 years while the Ryukyu people went to China using their route 580 times from 1372 to 1879….

      And they should have the honesty of recognizing their true agenda, which is to seize the underground resources those Senkakus islands have. That’s right, a United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Far East (ECAFE) ( report in 1969 stated there is a strong possibility for petroleum and natural gas to be under those islands. Foreign estimates of potential oil reserves on the shelf have gone as high as 100 billion barrels. (Saudi Arabia has “proven and probable” oil reserves of 261.7 billion barrels and the United States 22 billion). The following year, China started claiming the Senkaku islands as theirs.

      The most promising area identified was “a 200,000 square kilometer area just north of Taiwan, or almost exactly the location” of the Senkaku islands. See K.O. Emery et al., Geological Structure and Some Water Characteristics of the East China Sea and the Yellow Sea, 2 UNECAFE/CCOP TECH. BULL. 3 (1969). A copy of the ECAFE report is available here:

      The report concludes on page 41 “A high probability exists that the continental shelf between Taiwan and Japan may be one of the most prolific oil reservoirs in the world.”

      Talk about hypocrisy….

      Bottom line, it was legally terra nullius ( ), ie no proven trace of being inhabited or controlled, Japan rightfully integrated it in its territory after performing surveys since 1885. China did not care, because they had better things to do at the time ( ), Subsequently the communist Chinese Government did not care either and Mao was conducting his so-called ‘Great Leap Forward’ mass killing millions of Chinese (estimated to 45 million death between 1958 and 1961 and followed by the Cultural Revolution in 1966, motivated by power struggles within the Party ). There are even official communist China maps showing those islands as Japanese:

      Source: Wikipedia. Section of 1969 map published by the People’s Republic of China, showing and identifying the “Senkaku Islands” as Japanese territory.

      This map was revealed by the Washington Time:

      It is now under the effective sovereignty and control of Japan, and there is nothing that China can do about it. Legally speaking Judge Max Huber of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) stated that the key aspect for the establishment of a State sovereignty is the “continuous and peaceful display of territorial sovereignty” (The Netherlands v U.S.A. ‘Island of Palmas Case’ [1928] ICJ V II 839). This fits well with the current code of conduct of Japan with regards to its reaction to the threats made to its sovereignty.

      That’s the ugly truth. Enjoy.

  • 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?