‘Chinese spy ship enters Japan waters tracking Indian ships’
Japanese P-3C patrol aircraft spotted the Dongdiao-class intelligence vessel sailing in territorial waters to the west of Kuchinoerabu Island at around 3:30 AM (1830 GMT Tuesday), Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroshige Seko told reporters.
The ship travelled on a southeasterly bearing and left Japan’s territorial waters south of the prefecture’s Yakushima Island around 5 AM, Kyodo news agency quoted Seko as saying. It was for the first time that a Chinese spy ship was detected in Japanese water since a submarine was spotted in 2004. The latest intrusion came less than a week after another Chinese naval vessel sailed near islands at the centre of a Tokyo-Beijing sovereignty dispute in the East China Sea.
“The Chinese military vessel moved in after an Indian ship sailed into Japan’s territorial waters as it participated in a Japan-US-India joint exercise,” Defence Minister Gen Nakatani told reporters. A senior Foreign Ministry official lodged a protest with the Chinese Embassy here over its military activities in view of latest intrusion.
“We are concerned about the Chinese military’s recent activities,” Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters.Japanese officials said they are analysing China’s possible motives behind the two actions.