Russian and Chinese Warship Spotted Dangerously Close to Japan
As Putin’s war in Ukraine rages on, there have been reports of Chinese and Russian warships circling within disputed territorial waters.
Japan’s Defense Ministry reported seeing Chinese and Russian warships near the Senkaku Islands, which both Tokyo and Beijing lay claim to.
Japanese Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji Kihara accused the Chinese Communist Party of violating Japan’s national sovereignty as it continues to increase military activities in the East China Sea.
“The Senkaku Islands are an inherent part of Japan’s territory historically and under international law,” said Kihara. “The government will deal with the matter calmly, but firmly to protect our country’s land, territorial waters, and air space.”
The Chinese vessels are believed to have entered the contested area to avoid a typhoon. However, Chinese officials have recently spoken out regarding Japan’s relationship with Taiwan. In a recent statement, Zhang Meifang, Consul General of China, urged Japan to stay out of China’s internal affairs.
The Japan Coast Guard said the intrusion, the 15th this year and the first since June 23, happened around 4:35 a.m. on July 5, adding that its patrol vessels ordered the two Chinese ships to exit the waters immediately.
Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said Japan made a “serious protest” with China through diplomatic channels. Calling the intrusion a violation of international law, he said at a regular news conference that Japan will deal with China’s actions “calmly and resolutely.”
Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi separately said that Chinese “military activities are becoming more and more active” and that Japan will “resolutely and calmly deal with any unilateral attempt to change the status quo.”
The incursion of the Chinese vessels came just 40 minutes after a Russian frigate had entered the waters for more than an hour, Japan’s defense ministry said.
The Senkakus, which China calls Diaoyu, remain a thorny issue in bilateral relations. Despite repeated protests from Tokyo, Beijing, which has also aggressively asserted territorial claims in the South China Sea, continues to send vessels to waters around the Japan-controlled islands.