Six Chinese ships have entered Japanese waters near a group of disputed islets claimed by both Beijing and Tokyo, refusing to follow the Japanese coast guard’s orders to vacate its territorial waters.
Currently, six Chinese ships are stationed in the area, which Japan considers its territorial waters. Another two ships are stationed outside the disputed area.
So far, Japanese border patrol ships have not taken any active measures against the Chinese vessels.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed that six surveillance ships had entered waters near the islands.
“The patrol activity is intended to demonstrate the jurisdiction of the Chinese government over the Diaoyu Islands and the adjacent islands, and also to protect the country’s naval interests,” the statement reads.
Japan has created a crisis headquarters in response to the incident. The Chinese Ambassador to Japan has been urgently summoned to a meeting with the Japanese Foreign Ministry.
This is the latest in a series of diplomatic rows between China and Japan centered on control of the Senkaku, or Diaoyu in Mandarin, islands.
The ships were dispatched “to assert the country’s sovereignty” to the tiny archipelago in the South China Sea, which on Tuesday Japan had purchased from a private owner, ignoring Chinese territorial claims.