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Παρασκευή, 19 Ιουλίου, 2024

Japan Protests Chinese Coast Guard Incursion Near Disputed Islands

Περισσότερα Νέα

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Japan lodged a formal protest with China on Friday after four armed Chinese coast guard vessels entered waters near the disputed Senkaku Islands, an area Tokyo claims as its own territory. This marks the first instance of four Chinese vessels equipped with what appeared to be cannons entering these waters, escalating the long-standing territorial dispute in the East China Sea.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi addressed the media, stating, “The intrusion of vessels belonging to China’s coast guard into our territory is a breach of international law.” He did not speculate on China’s intentions but emphasized Japan’s stance on the matter.

The Chinese coast guard confirmed the patrol, describing it as a “routine action” to safeguard sovereignty and maritime rights. The vessels remained in the area for over an hour before departing around midday. In response, Japan lodged a “strong protest” through diplomatic channels, urging the Chinese vessels to leave immediately.

This latest incident follows a record 158-day presence of Chinese vessels in the waters surrounding the Senkaku Islands last month, as reported by Japanese media. The increased activity has heightened tensions between the two nations, especially in light of recent regional diplomatic efforts.

The ninth trilateral summit between China, Japan, and South Korea held in Seoul aimed to promote peace and stability in the region. However, the continued assertiveness of China’s maritime activities has cast doubt on these diplomatic pledges.

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The situation in the East China Sea is reminiscent of China’s aggressive actions in the South China Sea, where it has frequently clashed with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia. China has expanded its presence by constructing military installations on various disputed islands, a strategy that has drawn international criticism.

Japan’s annual diplomatic Bluebook, released in April, highlighted China’s attempts to unilaterally change the status quo by force in both the East and South China Seas. The report described the security environment around Japan as the most severe and complex since World War II, calling China’s military buildup in the region “unprecedented.”

The upcoming two-plus-two dialogue between Japan and the United States, scheduled for July in Tokyo, is expected to address strategies for countering China’s regional aggression. This meeting follows China’s large-scale military drills in the Taiwan Strait, further demonstrating its assertive stance in the region.

As the situation unfolds, Japan remains committed to monitoring the Senkaku Islands with vigilance and responding to Chinese incursions with calm determination.

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