Tokyo Urges Beijing to Stop Intrusions into Japanese Waters

Jiji Press
Takehiro Funakoshi, director general of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of the Foreign Ministry, speaks at high-level dialogue on maritime issues between Japan and China on Monday in Tokyo.

Tokyo, April 10 (Jiji Press)—Japan urged China on Monday to stop immediately intrusions by its coast guard ships into Japanese waters around the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

In a high-level dialogue on maritime issues, Japan also expressed concerns over China’s maritime expansion in the East China Sea and the South China Sea.

Chinese coast guard ships are frequently spotted in waters around the islands, claimed by China, which calls them Diaoyu.

The meeting was attended by foreign, defense and coast guard officials from the two countries, their first face-to-face gathering since May 2019.

At the beginning of the meeting, Takehiro Funakoshi, director-general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, said that Tokyo wanted to discuss maritime issues frankly and seriously.

Hong Liang, director-general of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs, said that through the dialogue China aims to manage properly differences in the maritime field and seek areas where the two countries can cooperate.

Japan also criticized China for continuing to send out information lacking a scientific basis about the planned release into the sea of treated water from the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Tokyo also conveyed concerns over China’s continued gas field development activities on the Chinese side of the median line between the two countries in the East China Sea.

China for its part demanded that Japan stop violating China’s sovereignty and harming its maritime interests in the East China Sea and the Taiwan Strait, according to China’s Foreign Ministry.

Beijing also warned Tokyo against interfering with Taiwan issues. Expressing concern about the water release from the Fukushima nuclear plant, it said the matter should be handled in a scientific and safe way.

Japan and China affirmed a plan to set up a hotline between their defense authorities at an early date.