Japan vows defense as China ships near disputed isles

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TOKYO – Japan’s defence minister vowed Sunday to defend the country’s territory as three Chinese government ships entered disputed waters off Tokyo-controlled islands in the East China Sea, the first such incident this year.

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The Chinese coastguard vessels sailed into the 12-nautical-mile territorial waters at about 8:30 am (2330 GMT Saturday) off one of the Senkaku islands, which China also claims and calls the Diaoyus, Japan’s coastguard said. They left less than two hours later.

“We can never overlook repeated incursions into territorial waters,” Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters.

“We need to make diplomatic efforts on one hand. We also want to firmly defend our country’s territorial sea and land with the Self-Defence Forces cooperating with the Coast Guard,” he added.

Chinese state-owned ships and aircraft have approached the Senkakus on and off to demonstrate Beijing’s territorial claims, especially after Japan nationalised some of the islands in September 2012.

It was the first time Chinese ships had been spotted since December 29 when three coastguard ships entered the zone and stayed for around three hours, the Japan Coast Guard said.

Japanese coastguard patrol boats have tried to chase Chinese vessels away, fuelling tensions which some fear could spiral out of control into an armed clash.

Japan’s conservative Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has vowed no compromise on the sovereignty of the islands and recently announced a boost in military spending to beef-up the nation’s defense.

AFP

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7 Comments

  1. Chinese say: “A journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step.”

    China’s ambition could not be more open to view than it is now.

    All the ‘free’ world >M U S T< take steps now to get China to step back or take the consequences.

  2. Now is the time for the Filipinos to prepare for conflict in the west philippine sea as china will not stop bullying small countries until they get what they want. The Philippine government must not rely too much on the defence treaty with America, instead focus on modernizing its own armed forces ASAP before it’s too late.

  3. China is very shrewd, it takes small steps in a long journey to its goal of controlling the South China Seas and its valuable resources. The countries whose territory it is claiming need to take long reaching steps NOW, in harmony, to stop this unlawful incursion. Once your territory is gone you will never get it back. Act now!

  4. China flexing his muscles toward Japan, China must remember that Japanese Imperial Army crushes China and invaded them during World War 2. Don’t try and dare challenge Japan because with its vast High Technology and Weapons Superiority and Inventions China is no match. Japan slow down only by Its Constitution, but it can even match USA, if given freedom to manufacture its War machine and Defense system. China is only quantity but lack quality and precision.