Sun, 02 Oct 2022

Tokyo [Japan], June 5 (ANI): Chinese ships have made a record number of 112 incursions into waters around the disputed Senkaku islands, which are also claimed by Japan.

Chinese vessels sailed through the contiguous zone around the islands in the East China Sea on Friday for the 112th straight day, according to the Japan Coast Guard.

They have entered the contiguous zone every day since mid-February, surpassing the previous record of 111 consecutive days from April to August of 2020, Nikkei Asia reported.

China also intruded into Japan's territorial sea four days in April and five days in May. From January to May, China entered the waters on a total of 20 days.

This has led to a number of incidents where Chinese ships have approached Japanese fishing vessels.

On May 29, four Chinese coast guard vessels came close to three Japanese fishing boats, prompting Japan's coast guard patrol boats to secure their safety.

The islands, which China claims and calls the Diaoyu, are about 170 km northeast of Taiwan.

Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi said these actions by Chinese ships "are unacceptable" at a news briefing on Friday. "We will take all possible measures for vigilant monitoring and intelligence gathering," he said.

Chinese navy warships have also been spotted around the Nansei Islands, a chain stretching southwest from Japan toward Taiwan.

Japan controls the Senkaku Islands, however, China and Taiwan continue to claim them.

Tokyo maintains the islands are an inherent part of its territory as per history and international law.

Reasserting claims of sovereignty over Senkaku Islands, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin on Friday said that Diaoyu Island (Senkaku) and its affiliated islands are inherent Chinese territory.

"The Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands are inherent Chinese territory. The patrol and law enforcement activities by China Coast Guard in these waters are legitimate and lawful measures to safeguard sovereignty," said Wang.

He also urged Japan to abide by the four-point principled consensus between China and Japan and jointly uphold peace and stability in the East China Sea.

The four-point principled consensus reached between China and Japan refers to a 2014 agreement that included a promise to prevent the deterioration of the situation in the East China Sea through dialogue and consultation.

China has been increasing its maritime activities in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea over the past few months, partly in response to Beijing's concerns over the increasing US military presence in the region because of escalating Sino-US tensions.

Recently, tensions between China and Japan have escalated amid increased activity by Beijing in the disputed East China Sea.

This comes after Beijing implements a new law that allows the country's quasi-military force to use weapons against foreign ships that China sees as illegally entering its waters. (ANI)

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