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INTERNATIONAL > East Asia & Pacific

Chinese ship operated in Japan’s territorial waters for 90 minutes

  • June 16, 2016
  • , Asahi, Mainichi, Yomiuri, Nikkei, Sankei, Tokyo Shimbun
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All papers carried follow-up reports on a Chinese Navy intelligence-gathering ship’s intrusion on Wednesday into Japan’s territorial waters off Kuchinoerabu Island off Kagoshima, noting that it stayed in the territorial waters for about 90 minutes, perhaps in an attempt to locate Indian warships that were participating in a trilateral exercise with Japan and the U.S. While reporting that a separate PLA intelligence-collection vessel on Wednesday shadowed the USS John Stennis, which is also taking part in the naval drill in the same area, Mainichi quoted a MOD source as saying that these Chinese operations constitute “harassment” of trilateral defense cooperation. 

 

In response to concern expressed by the GOJ, the Chinese side insisted that the PLA ship was exercising the right of “innocent passage” stipulated in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The papers conjectured that by underscoring its right to “freedom of navigation” in waters around Japan, Beijing is perhaps aiming to dissuade Tokyo from taking issue with Chinese military operations in the South China Sea.

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