Media: Two PRC ships enter area off disputed Senkaku islands

Japanese fishing schooners were in the same area, Kyodo news agency reported

Media: Two PRC ships enter area off disputed Senkaku islands

Two Chinese naval patrol ships on Saturday morning entered the area off the disputed Senkaku Islands (Diaoyu), which Japan considers its territorial waters. This was reported by the Kyodo news agency.

It is specified that Japanese fishing schooners were in the same area at the time, and the Chinese ships at one point made a move in their direction with the aim of approaching them. However, because the schooners were close to the Japanese Coast Guard cutters, no action was taken by the parties. The crew of the Japanese patrol boats also demanded through loudspeakers that the Chinese ships leave these waters immediately.

It is noted that this is the first incident that has occurred since a law came into force in China on February 1, granting the Chinese coast guard the power to open fire on foreign ships to protect China’s national sovereignty.

The PRC considers the islands to be its illegally occupied territories and is demanding their return. The territorial dispute over the uninhabited Senkaku archipelago in the East China Sea escalated after Tokyo announced in September 2012 that it was buying back the islands from their private owners, Japanese citizens. This was followed by massive anti-Japanese demonstrations in the PRC, accompanied by pogroms. Since then, Chinese ships have been constantly cruising near the disputed islands and periodically make demonstrative visits to their coastal zone.

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