Saturday’s Yomiuri and Sankei wrote that the Ministry of Defense announced on Friday that a Chinese naval vessel sailed through Japan’s territorial waters off Kagoshima last week, marking the fourth time that a Chinese naval vessel was confirmed in Japanese territorial waters and the first time since July 2017. After confirming that an MSDF P-1 patrol plane spotted a Chinese naval vessel sailing within Japan’s contiguous waters south of Yakushima Island at around 8:40 p.m. on Wednesday and within the zone further west off Kuchinoerabu Island at around 1:20 a.m. on Thursday, the ministry concluded that the vessel temporarily entered Japan’s territorial waters. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs conveyed Japan’s concerns to China through diplomatic channels. Saturday’s Asahi and Mainichi ran similar reports.
Yomiuri wrote that the Defense Ministry also said it spotted a Russian naval vessel passing through the Tsushima Strait heading south to the East China Sea at around 5:00 p.m. on Thursday and two Chinese naval vessels sailing through the strait at 7:00 p.m. on the same day. None of them entered Japan’s territorial waters.
Yomiuri added that the ministry also said the ASDF scrambled fighter jets in response to two Chinese and two Russian bombers jointly flying over the Sea of Japan, the East China Sea, and the Pacific Ocean on Friday because they entered Japan’s defense identification zone. According to the ministry, the four aircraft flew over the Sea of Japan and waters between the main island of Okinawa and Miyako Island toward the Pacific. Monday’s Nikkei wrote that Foreign Minister Hayashi said on a TV program on Sunday that Japan has conveyed to Beijing and Moscow through diplomatic channels its grave concern over the flights by Chinese and Russian bombers. This was the third time for the Defense Ministry to disclose information about joint flights by Chinese and Russian bombers around Japan and the first since December 2020.