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Chinese ships cross into Japanese waters

Date Posted: 2008-12-11

Japan has lodged diplomatic protests with China over the intrusion this week of two Chinese survey ships into Japanese territory in the East China Sea.

Takeo Kawamura, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, called the Chinese intrusion “very regrettable”. The two ships crossed into the Senkaku Islets, the Japan Coast Guard says. The Coast Guard communicated with the survey ships, asking them to leave the area, which is also claimed by Taiwan and China.

The two ships, the 1,100-ton Haijian No. 46 and the 1,900-ton Haijian No. 51, took nearly ten hours to depart after being ordered to do so by the Japan Coast Guard. The ships were confronted in waters six kilometers southeast of Uotsuri Island.

The Defense Ministry was aware of the intrusion, says Vice Defense Minister Kohei Masuda, but took no action. He said Self Defense Forces were on standby in case assistance was needed.

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