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Because the U.S. was targeted on celebrating the Fourth of July, tensions briefly rose throughout the Pacific after Japan noticed Chinese language and Russian warships close to the disputed East China Sea islands.
Japan’s Protection Ministry stated a Chinese language frigate sailed contained in the “contiguous zone,” simply outdoors Japanese territorial waters round Senkaku Islands – which Beijing additionally claims and calls the Diaoyu – for a number of minutes Monday morning.
That sighting got here simply 40 minutes after a Russian frigate had entered the waters for greater than an hour, the ministry stated.
It was not instantly clear what was behind the newest Chinese language-Russian navy exercise within the space. Japanese protection officers talked about a chance that the ships might have been there to keep away from a storm.
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Deputy Chief Cupboard Secretary Seiji Kihara stated Japan lodged a protest expressing “grave concern” to Beijing over the incident.
“The Senkaku islands are an inherent part of Japan’s territory historically and under international law. The government will deal with the matter calmly but firmly to protect the Japanese land, territorial waters and air space,” Kihara stated.
There was no violation of the territorial waters, he stated, however famous that the Chinese language incursion into the contiguous zone was a fourth such occasion since June 2016.
Beijing, in the meantime, criticized Tokyo’s protest and justified the frigate’s entry as “lawful and justified.”
“Japan has no right to make such irresponsible remarks,” Chinese language International Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian he stated at a information convention, including that the islands are Chinese language territory.
Japan for its half views China’s more and more assertive navy exercise within the East and South China seas as a risk to regional stability. Tokyo is particularly delicate to Chinese language actions close to the disputed islands.
The Related Press contributed to this report.