Four Chinese vessels entered Japanese territorial waters off Senkaku islands, said Japan’s coast guard on Monday.
This comes days after Tokyo and Taipei held the first-ever security talks.
According to the Japan coast guard, the vessels were reportedly approaching a Japanese fishing boat.
The Coast Guard said the four Chinese ships entered Japan’s waters off Uotsuri Island and Minamikojima Island, two of the Senkaku Islands, one after another starting at around 2:40 a.m, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported.
It said that, as of 3:30 a.m., three of the vessels were sailing 12 to 17 kilometres south of Uotsuri Island. It says the other was traveling about 15 kilometers south-southwest of Minamikojima Island.
Japan controls the Senkaku Islands, however, China and Taiwan continue to claim them. Tokyo maintains the islands are an inherent part of its territory as per history and international law.
On Friday, the ruling parties of Taiwan and Japan held their first diplomatic and defence policy discussion, with representatives of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) pledging to support Taiwan’s bid to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Global Times reported.
China, which considers Taiwan as its integral part, lodged a strong opposition to the security talks and urged Tokyo to stop interfering in China’s internal affairs.
China claims sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea and has overlapping territorial claims with Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan.
Beijing has been increasing its maritime activities in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea over the past few months, partly in response to Beijing’s concerns over the increasing US military presence in the region because of escalating Sino-US tensions.
Beijing’s rising assertiveness against counter claimants in the East and South Sea has resulted in unprecedented agreement across the Indo-Pacific.