Chinese ships stay in Senkaku waters for over 64 hours

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Two China Coast Guard ships stayed continuously in Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands for 64 hours 17 minutes this month, the longest single intrusion since Japan nationalized the islands in 2012.

According to the 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters in Naha, the two ships entered the waters southwest of Uotsurijima island at 4:33 a.m. on Tuesday and departed the area Thursday evening. The Chinese ships appeared to be monitoring a 9.7-ton Japanese fishing boat with three crew members operating in the waters. The Chinese ships also continued navigating through waters near Minami-Kojima island and elsewhere on Thursday afternoon.

The ships departed Japanese territorial waters at about 8:50 p.m. as they appeared to chase the fishing boat.

The previous longest incursion lasted 64 hours and ended at about 8:10 p.m. on June 23.

The Senkaku Islands are under the jurisdiction of Ishigaki, Okinawa Prefecture. During the latest incursion, the Chinese ships reportedly used their radios and electric message boards to repeatedly assert that China had sovereignty over the islands.

The Japanese government lodged a diplomatic protest to China over the intrusion.

Japan, U.S., Australia hold joint naval drill

Vessels from the Japanese, U.S. and Australian naval forces have conducted a joint drill in the East China Sea and the Pacific Ocean off Okinawa’s east coast, the Defense Ministry announced Thursday.

According to the ministry’s Maritime Staff Office, the Maritime Self-Defense Force escort ship Asahi, the U.S. destroyer USS Dewey and Royal Australian Navy frigate HMAS Parramatta participated in the drill held from Monday to Wednesday.

The drill aimed to strengthen naval cooperation between the three nations and featured various kinds of tactical training, such as responding to an enemy surface ship.