Economy, Asia - Pacific

Japan protests Chinese patrols near disputed islands

Foreign minister raises issue with Chinese counterpart, also conveys concern over Beijing's actions in South China Sea

Riyaz ul Khaliq   | 22.04.2020
Japan protests Chinese patrols near disputed islands File photo - Japan Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi


Tokyo has lodged a protest with Beijing over the presence of Chinese ships in Japan’s territorial waters near Senkaku Islands in East China Sea.

According to Kyodo News agency, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi raised the issue with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in a phone call on Tuesday evening.

Chinese ships have entered waters near the Japanese-controlled islets seven times this year, with the latest intrusion last Friday when four vessels sailed through the area for about 90 minutes, the report said.

The Senkaku Islands, which China calls Diaoyu and claims as its own, are a matter of dispute between the two countries.

Motegi also conveyed Tokyo’s concerns over China's move to establish districts to administer the Spratly and Paracel islands in the South China Sea, according the report.

He also addressed the subject at a news conference on Tuesday, saying the issue was “directly related to regional peace and stability.”

“We are monitoring the recent situation in the South China Sea with concern. Issues concerning the South China Sea are legitimate matters of concern for the international community that are directly related to regional peace and stability,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

“Japan strongly opposes any actions that increase tensions in the South China Sea. Japan … [urges] all the parties related to the South China Sea issue [to] exert efforts toward the peaceful resolution of conflicts based on international law.”

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