Japan Coast Guard Ship Chased Away By Chinese Survey Ship

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    As the eyes of the world are on the Expo in Shanghai, tensions are rising in the seas between Japan and China. Last month, Chinese warships and submarines were spotted near Okinawa. There was also an incident involving Chinese navy helicopters flying dangerously close to Japanese ships. The most recent incident, involving an aggressive Chinese ship forcing the cancellation of a Japanese marine survey, has been called a violation of Japan’s sovereign rights by the Japanese government:

    The latest incident occurred on Monday afternoon in the East China Sea, about 320 kilometers northwest of Amami Oshima Island, Kagoshima Prefecture.

    A crewmember of the Chinese ship, the 1,690-ton Haijian 51, demanded by radio that the JCG’s 3,000-ton Shoyo discontinue its marine survey, claiming that Chinese rules apply to the area.

    The Haijian pursued the Shoyo for about three hours from around 2 p.m. and came as close as one kilometer to the Japanese vessel at one point, forcing the JCG to discontinue its survey mission.

    This is the first time that a Chinese vessel has approached a Japanese survey ship and asked it to discontinue a marine survey.

    Japan has lodged an official protest, but Beijing has said its ships actions were “totally proper and legitimate” (China does not recognize the area as Japanese waters).

    Over at GlobalTalk21, Jun Okumura has written that Japan’s meek response to each incident has probably encouraged the Chinese navy to be even more aggressive and risky: Read his article here.

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