TOKYO: A Chinese navy survey vessel entered Japanese territorial waters off the southwestern prefecture of Kagoshima on Wednesday, Japan’s Defense Ministry said Thursday.
This was the sixth intrusion by a Chinese military vessel on record and the first since April this year.
Over the latest incident, the Japanese government has conveyed its concern to the Chinese side through diplomatic channels.
According to the ministry, the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force spotted a Chinese navy survey ship sailing in the contiguous zone south of Yakushima island around 6:50 p.m. Wednesday (9:50 a.m. GMT).
The Chinese vessel sailed north later, and its intrusion into Japanese waters was confirmed by the MSDF replenishment vessel Mashu and a P-1 patrol plane around 8 p.m. that day.
The Chinese vessel left Japanese waters west of Kuchinoerabu Island, also in Kagoshima, around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday and headed west toward the East China Sea, ministry officials said.
As Chinese survey ships of the same type entered Japanese waters in the same area in November last year and April this year, the Japanese ministry is increasingly vigilant against the Chinese navy‘s activities there.