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Because the US was centered on celebrating the Fourth of July, tensions briefly rose throughout the Pacific after Japan noticed Chinese language and Russian warships close to the disputed East China Sea islands.
Japan’s Protection Ministry mentioned a Chinese frigate sailed contained in the “contiguous zone,” simply outdoors Japanese territorial waters round Senkaku Islands – which Beijing additionally claims and calls the Diaoyu – for a number of minutes Monday morning.
That sighting got here simply 40 minutes after a Russian frigate had entered the waters for greater than an hour, the ministry mentioned.
It was not instantly clear what was behind the most recent Chinese language-Russian army exercise within the space. Japanese defense officials talked about a risk that the ships might have been there to keep away from a storm.
Deputy Chief Cupboard Secretary Seiji Kihara mentioned Japan lodged a protest expressing “grave concern” to Beijing over the incident.
“The Senkaku islands are an inherent a part of Japan’s territory traditionally and underneath worldwide legislation. The federal government will cope with the matter calmly however firmly to guard the Japanese land, territorial waters and air area,” Kihara mentioned.
There was no violation of the territorial waters, he mentioned, however famous that the Chinese language incursion into the contiguous zone was a fourth such occasion since June 2016.
Beijing, in the meantime, criticized Tokyo’s protest and justified the frigate’s entry as “lawful and justified.”
“Japan has no proper to make such irresponsible remarks,” Chinese language International Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian he mentioned at a information convention, including that the islands are Chinese language territory.
Japan for its half views China’s more and more assertive army exercise within the East and South China seas as a menace to regional stability. Tokyo is particularly delicate to Chinese language actions close to the disputed islands.
The Related Press contributed to this report.