Tokyo, June 15: A Chinese vy reconissance ship entered Japanese territorial waters on Wednesday while tailing two Indian val ships participating in the trilateral Malabar val exercise with the US and Japan, a Japanese official has said. A Japanese P-3C patrol aircraft spotted the Dongdiao-class intelligence vessel sailing in the territorial waters to the west of Kuchinoerabu island at around 3.30 a.m., Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroshige Seko said.
The ship travelled on a southeasterly bearing and left Japanese territorial waters south of the prefecture’s Yakushima island around 5 a.m., Kyodo News Agency quoted Seko as saying.
“The ship appeared to be tracking two Indian val ships that were sailing in the waters during joint val drills” conducted by Japan, the US and India, Defence Minister Gen katani told reporters, according to Kyodo. Japan, the US and India are conducting the val drills in the waters east of Okiwa, near the Senkaku islands, which both Japan and Chi lay claim over, since last Friday.
According to reports, the Chinese ship also shadowed a US aircraft carrier John C. Stennis, participating in the joint exercise. Japan has voiced its “concerns” over the intrusion which comes less than a week after another Chinese val vessel sailed near the Senkaku islands in the East Chi Sea.
The Japanese Foreign Ministry lodged an expression of concern with the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo over Chinese military activities in light of the Wednesday morning incident.
“We are concerned about the Chinese military activities” which escalate regiol tensions, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters. The minister said the Japanese government will continue to take all possible measures to guard and monitor Japan’s airspace and territorial waters. (IANS)