Japan has protested to China over the invasion of waters off the disputed islands

Japan has protested to China over invasion of its ships into territorial waters in the disputed Senkaku Islands area (Chinese name Diaoyutao).

“A strong protest was made through diplomatic channels between Tokyo and Beijing. We demand that these actions to approach Japanese fishing boats be stopped and that ships leave the territorial waters”, –  government secretary-general Yoshihide Suga said at a press conference.

According to Kyodo agency, on Thursday two Chinese patrol ships appeared in the Senkaku Islands area. Then they attempted to get close to the Japanese fishing vessel, which was intercepted by a Japanese security patrol ship at sea, which stood between the fishing vessel and the Chinese ships. The ships remained in Japanese territorial waters until Friday morning, reported Kiyodo. On Friday, two Chinese ships were seen from the outside of territorial waters, in the so-called adjacent zone, one of them is equipped with a water cannon, the agency said.

The Senkaku Islands (Diaoyutao) are the subject of a territorial dispute between China and Japan. Japan claims to have occupied them since 1895, and Beijing recalls that Japanese maps of 1783 and 1785 mark the Diaoyu Islands as Chinese territory. After World War II, the islands were under US control and were transferred to Japan in 1972. Taiwan and mainland China believe that Japan is holding them illegally. Tokyo believes that China and Taiwan have been claiming the islands since the 1970s, when it was discovered that their waters were saturated with minerals. The territorial dispute further escalated after the Japanese Government purchased three of the five islands in the Senkaku (Diaoyu) archipelago from a private Japanese owner in 2012, thereby underscoring their State status.