Tokyo, Jan. 27 (Jiji Press)–Japan will ramp up the security of its territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said Wednesday, after China passed a law allowing its coast guard to fire on foreign vessels.
Earlier this month, the Japan Coast Guard started calling what it used to term Chinese government ships as “vessels that belong to the China Coast Guard,” as they are armed as heavily as warships.
Kato told a press conference that Japan “will not accept law enforcement by such vessels in waters around the Senkaku Islands, regardless of what we call them.”
A group of lawmakers in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party said Tuesday that under current law, the Japanese coast guard is strictly restricted from using weapons and that the country is therefore not capable of dealing with such Chinese vessels.
The Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea are administered by Japan and claimed by China, whose vessels have made repeated intrusions into Japanese territorial waters around the islands.