Japan has summoned the Chinese ambassador to protest a Chinese warship entering disputed East China Sea waters near the Senkaku Islands.
A Chinese Jiangkai I class frigate, as the ship was identified by the Japanese destroyer Setogiri, entered the waters June 8, Kyodo News quoted the Japanese Foreign Ministry as saying.
“We are deeply concerned that Chinese naval ships entered the waters contiguous to our Senkaku islands for the first time and this behavior unilaterally escalates tensions,” Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters June 8.
The two nations frequently send their coast guard vessels to the disputed waters as each side seeks to enforce their claims. This is the first time one of the sides has sent a warship to the region.
Chinese Defense Ministry said it was investigating the issue but also stressed the fact that its vessels had the right to operate in Chinese waters, Reuters reported.