China has dismissed the recent protest of Japan, saying that the two Chinese coast guard vessels and tons of civilian fishing ships have sailed in territories under their sovereignty. This strong response comes just hours after the Japanese Coast Guard said they have spotted those ships sailing around the disputed, uninhabited islets in the East China Sea.
As reported at Japan Times Saturday morning, August 6, nearly 230 fishing boats and six China Coast Guard vessels were spotted at around 1:30 pm on Friday, sailing near Senkaku Islands, which China calls as Diaoyu Islands and claims as part of their territorial waters. This is the most unusual number of Chinese ships that have entered the disputed area.
“This is a unilateral act that raises tensions … and it is unacceptable to us.” Japan’s Foreign Ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau director-general, Kenji Kanasugi was quoted telling to the Chinese Embassy in Japan. Likewise, Vice Foreign Minister Shinsuke Sugiyama also summoned Chinese ambassador to Japan, Cheng Yonghua
The Japanese Coast Guard noted that the crew members of the spotted Chinese coast guard vessels appeared to be heavily armed, and that they seemed to be guarding the fishing ships. One of the coast guard vessels allegedly entered the Japan territorial waters twice, and that the Japanese Coast Guard have warned them to leave the disputed area.
This Saturday afternoon, CCTV News (China Central Television) reported that Ambassador Yonghua has dismissed Japan’s objection, insisting that the waters that those ships have are under China’s jurisdiction. This recent Japan vs China heightened tension comes less than a month after the Hague ruling over South China Sea in favor of the Philippines.
The East China Sea is the waterway that separates Japan and China, and the two countries had talks of joint-exploration of the disputed territories less than a decade ago. However, a number of untoward incidents such as collision between Japanese and Chinese boats have led to serious damaging of bilateral relations that started in 2012.