Japan Protests Chinese Naval Ship Near Jap Islands
China rebuffed a Japanese warning on Thursday. Japan had declared its vow to protect its region after it found a Chinese naval vessel close to its Senkaku Islands. But the Chinese defense minister declared that these are the Diaoyu islands that belong to China, and added that the Chinese navy has "every right" to sail there.
A Japanese foreign ministry statement was issued. The Japanese vice foreign minister Akitaka Saiki called China's ambassador, Cheng Yonghua, at 2 a.m to talk about their "serious concern" and show their protest.
Japan will safeguard its islands "by any means" and the Chinese frigate outside Japanese territorial waters is a grave matter and "behavior unilaterally escalating tensions," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters in Tokyo.
China's patrol ships, from time to time, are spotted as close to or even as having entered waters which Japan considers its own. However, Thursday's event is probably the first time that a naval vessel entered this controversial region.
Japanese officials explain that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has given instructions to his government to collaborate with the United States as well as other countries to deal with the issue.
A Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force guided-missile destroyer, Setogiri, also agreed that the ship from China came into the protected area just northeast of Kuba island, which was in the Senkakus. The ship stayed for two-and-a-half hours, confirmed Japan's defense ministry. Even three Russian battleships sailed close to the area.
"We're investigating and analyzing whether the two incidents are related," said Suga.
The Senkaku islands and rocks are located in vital shipping lanes and fishing grounds near significant oil and gas reserves.
U.S. forces will be forced to come to the aid of the Japanese in keeping with a mutual security pact, if the disputed islands are subjected to attack, confirms the Obama government.