(Sankei: February 9, 2016 – p. 2)
The Ministry of Defense (MOD) announced on Feb. 8 that a Chinese naval vessel cruised back and forth outside the contiguous zone (CZ) off the southeast coast of the Boso Peninsula, Chiba Prefecture, from Feb. 4 through 8. The ship did not breach Japan’s CZ or territorial waters.
According to the MOD, the ship spotted was one of the Chinese Navy’s Dongdiao-class intelligence vessels. The ship was seen moving southwest in these waters by a Maritime Self-Defense Force P-3C patrol plane at around 5:00 a.m. on Feb. 4. The ship cruised back and forth northeast and southwest through the waters multiple times until around 7:00 a.m. on Feb. 8. Then the ship apparently proceeded southwest and passed between Miyake-jima iand Hachijo-jima islands. As such activity is unusual, MOD officials say they will “hasten to analyze the intent [of the vessel].”