China, Russia Warships Sail in Japan Contiguous Zone
Tokyo, July 4 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Defense Ministry said Monday that Chinese and Russian navy vessels sailed in the contiguous zone around the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture in the morning.
According to the ministry, a Russian frigate ship entered the waters off Uotsuri Island, the largest of the Japanese-administered East China Sea island chain, also claimed by China and called Diaoyu in Chinese, at 7:05 a.m. (10:05 p.m. Sunday GMT). A Chinese frigate also entered the same waters, located some 400 kilometers west of the main island of the southernmost Japan prefecture, at 7:44 a.m.
The Chinese vessel left there at 7:50 a.m. and the Russian ship at 8:16 a.m. Both ships did not intrude into Japanese territorial waters.
The contiguous zone is located outside the territorial waters and there is no problem under international law for foreign ships to travel in the zone.
But the Japanese government was alerted by Chinese and Russian warships coming close to Japanese waters simultaneously, a situation unseen since June 2016.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]