Naha, Okinawa Pref., Dec. 16 (Jiji Press)–Four Chinese coast guard ships sailed in Japanese waters off the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea for around two hours Thursday.
It was the 33rd intrusion into the Japanese waters around the island chain in Okinawa Prefecture by Chinese government ships this year, and the first since Nov. 19.
The four Haijing ships entered Japanese waters south of Minamikojima and elsewhere between around 10 a.m. (1 a.m. GMT) and 10:05 a.m., according to the Japan Coast Guard’s 11th regional headquarters in Naha, the capital of the southernmost prefecture.
The Chinese ships left the waters east of Minamikojima and elsewhere between about 11:35 a.m. and noon. The Senkaku Islands, called Diaoyu in China, are claimed by Beijing.
Japan lodged a strong protest to China through diplomatic channels, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told a press conference in Tokyo.
The intrusion “violated international law,” he said, adding that the government will respond calmly and resolutely.