China likely conducting marine survey in Japan’s EEZ

Courtesy of Japan Coast Guard
Dong Fang Hong 3 conducts what appears to be a marine survey on Saturday.

NAHA (Jiji Press) — The Chinese ship Dong Fang Hong 3 is conducting what appears to be a marine survey in Japan’s exclusive economic zone off Okinawa Prefecture’s Ishigaki Island, the Japan Coast Guard said Saturday.

The coast guard confirmed that the Chinese marine survey ship dropped into the sea what appeared to be observation equipment at a point 73 kilometers north of the island around 12:05 p.m.

The Foreign Ministry protested to the Chinese government through diplomatic channels, saying that it is extremely regrettable if China conducted a marine survey without the consent of Japan.

According to the 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters, based in Naha, what appeared to be a wire was hanging down into the sea from a crane on the deck of the Dong Fang Hong 3.

A coast guard vessel warned the Chinese ship to stop the activity, but there has been no reply, according to the headquarters. The activity seems to be going on.

In March, a different Chinese ship conducted what appeared to be a marine survey in Japan’s EEZ off Okinawa’s Kume Island.