Chinese armed vessels patrol waters around disputed islands, angering Japan

The tension between Japan and China over disputed territories escalated recently when Japan lodged a protest against Beijing after four armed Chinese coastguard vessels entered waters that Japan considers its territory. These waters surround the disputed islands known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan and the Diaoyu Islands in China.

This incident marked the first time that four Chinese vessels, equipped with what appeared to be cannons, entered Japan’s territorial waters in the East China Sea. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi of Japan emphasized that such intrusion violates international law and called for a swift exit of the Chinese vessels from the area.

In response, China’s coastguard confirmed that its vessels patrolled the waters with weapons on board. Tokyo conveyed a “strong protest” to Beijing through diplomatic channels, demanding the immediate withdrawal of the Chinese vessels from the area.

The prolonged territorial disputes over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands have been a recurring source of tension between Japan and China. This recent incident underscores the ongoing challenges in the region, with both countries asserting their claims over the disputed territories. Similarly, tensions have been rising in the South China Sea, where China’s encounters with the Philippine navy have also been intensifying in disputed areas.