Foreign Submarine Spotted in Japan Contiguous Zone

Society Politics

Tokyo, June 20 (Jiji Press)--The Defense Ministry said Saturday that a foreign submarine headed west underwater in a contiguous zone northeast of the southwestern Japan island of Amami Oshima, Kagoshima Prefecture, on Thursday afternoon.

Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyers and patrol aircraft monitored the submarine, which was traveling west outside a contiguous zone west of the prefecture's Yokoate Island on Saturday morning, according to the ministry.

The vessel passed through a narrow strip of waters between the prefecture's Tokara island chain and Amami Oshima without surfacing, according to the ministry.

It is believed to be a Chinese navy submarine, ministry sources said, adding that its behavior is unusual.

Under international law, submarines must surface and raise their national flags inside foreign territorial waters. But underwater cruises are not banned in contiguous zones, which surround territorial waters.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press