Japan is concerned about China’s persistent intrusions near disputed islands.
Following allegations from Tokyo this week of additional intrusions, China’s state TV says coast guard patrols around claimed Japanese islands in the East China Sea are projected to reach record levels in 2021.
According to a CCTV report on Wednesday, lawmakers from Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party are “anxious” about China Coast Guard action near the Senkaku Islands.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is likely to hold talks regarding a tougher response to the unprecedented incursions into Japanese territorial waters.
The latest Chinese coast guard activity was reported by the Japan Coast Guard on Monday, when four Chinese government vessels sailed into the territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands, which Japan administers through Okinawa Prefecture. One of the vessels was mounted with what seemed to be a “autocannon.”
China calls the uninhabited islets Diaoyu, whereas Taiwan calls them Diaoyutai.
Two China Coast Guard warships approached a single Japanese fishing boat, which was guarded by a Japanese patrol ship, according to a report by Tokyo news source Jiji Press. According to the article, the Japan Coast Guard subsequently “issued warnings for the vessels to leave.”
China Coast Guard ships entered Japanese territorial seas surrounding the Senkaku Islands for patrols for the 16th time this year on Monday. They were last seen on the 10th and 11th of May.
The presence of only one vessel was confirmed by Beijing’s maritime police, who announced the 5,500-ton Shuoshi II-class cutter numbered 2502 on their website.
Meanwhile, Japan’s Kyodo News said that the fishing boat threatened by Chinese government vessels weighed 9.1 tons and had a crew of three people on board.
According to Japanese government figures, China Coast Guard warships have patrolled the waters in and around the Senkaku Islands for 101 days in a row. Since January 1, the intruding vessels have been detected nearby 136 times.
According to CCTV, China’s maritime law enforcement agency is on track to beat last year’s record of 111 straight days and 333 total ship days around the disputed islands.
According to a recent report from Japan’s foreign ministry, there were 36 Chinese ships in the waters off the Senkakus from January to April 30. When counting operations within the island group’s contiguous zone—up to 24 nautical miles away—the tally rises to 406 Chinese government vessels. This is a condensed version of the information.