Saturday, August 6, 2016

China makes show of force in Senkaku islets

For the second time in two days, Japan has protested to Beijing over Chinese coastguard ships and fishing vessels sailing into waters close to disputed islands in the East China Sea. The two countries are locked in a long-running dispute over the uninhabited islets, known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.

Japan's foreign ministry said that seven Chinese coastguard ships, including four that appeared to be armed, and about 230 fishing vessels sailed on Saturday close to what Tokyo considers its territorial waters.
Beijing claims the islands and occasionally sends its coastguard vessels near them. However, it is rare for so many Chinese fishing vessels to be spotted in the area.

Saturday's protest came a day after Japanese vice foreign minister Shinsuke Sugiyama summoned Cheng Yonghua, China's ambassador to Tokyo, to protest over intrusions into its territorial waters by Chinese coastguard and fishing vessels on Friday afternoon. China has threatened an air defence zone over the region. Beijing has a significant air power superiority over Japan.