TOKYO: Japan plans to launch satellites to monitor the world’s oceans, a report said on Sunday, as Chinese government ships sailed in waters around islands controlled by Tokyo and claimed by Beijing.
The Cabinet office plans to launch nine satellites in the next five years to counter piracy and monitor the movements of foreign ships intruding into Japanese territorial waters, the business daily Nikkei reported.
They will also collect data for forecasting natural disasters such as tsunamis, it said.
The report, which cabinet officials could not immediately confirm, came as Japan’s coastguard said three Chinese government ships entered waters around the Senkaku islands in the East China Sea.
The maritime surveillance vessels entered the 12-nautical-mile zone around Uotsurijima, one of the Senkaku islands which China calls the Diaoyus, at about 9:30 am (0030 GMT), the coastguard said.
The ships left the area shortly before 1:00 pm, the coastguard said later.