4 Chinese Ships Try to Approach Japanese Vessel near Senkakus


Naha, Okinawa Pref., Jan. 30 (Jiji Press)--Four Chinese coast guard ships tried to approach a Japanese-registered private vessel in Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands in the southernmost Japan prefecture of Okinawa on Monday.

Japan Coast Guard patrol ships secured the safety of the 997-ton private vessel and warned the Chinese ships to leave the waters.

The intrusion by Chinese government ships into Japanese waters around the Senkaku Islands was the first since Jan. 10 and the second this year. The Japanese-administered islands are claimed by China, which calls them Diaoyu.

According to the JCG's 11th regional headquarters in Naha, the capital of Okinawa, the four Haijing ships entered Japanese waters southeast of Minamikojima in the Senkaku chain between around 2:45 a.m. (5:45 p.m. Sunday GMT) and 6:05 a.m. and tried to approach the private vessel and three fishing boats.

The city government of Ishigaki in Okinawa has rented the private vessel for marine research activities around the Senkakus, sources familiar with the matter said. The ship departed Ishigaki Port on Sunday afternoon to do research on plankton and other organisms, and also to look into the impact of goat feeding damage on vegetation on Uotsurijima, one of the Senkaku Islands.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press