Naha, Okinawa Pref., Jan. 14 (Jiji Press)–A Chinese coast guard ship sailed in Japanese territorial waters off the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, southernmost Japan, on Thursday, attempting to approach a Japanese fishing vessel.
A Japan Coast Guard patrol ship secured the safety of the fishing vessel and warned the Chinese ship to leave Japanese waters.
This is the second such intrusion by a Chinese government ship this year, after an intrusion on Wednesday.
“It is truly regrettable that Chinese ships’ intrusions into our territorial waters and the contiguous zone (surrounding the Japanese waters) are continuing this year,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told a press conference in Tokyo on Thursday. He said the Japanese government has made a strong protest against China through diplomatic channels.
Kato, Japan’s top government spokesman, also said, “The government can in no way condone the intrusions.”
The Haijing ship entered the Japanese waters south of Taisho Island in the Senkaku chain at around 7:15 a.m. (10:15 p.m. Wednesday GMT) as it apparently chased the Japanese fishing vessel, according to the Japan Coast Guard’s 11th regional headquarters in Naha, the capital of Okinawa.
China claims the Japanese-administered islands in the East China Sea and calls them Diaoyu.