Japan’s Coast Guard Steps Up Patrols Near Senkaku

Tokyo, – Japan’s Coast Guard has stepped up its patrols in the country’s territorial waters around a group of islands in the East China Sea after spotting more than 10 Chinese ships sailing nearby.

Japanese Coast Guard officials said that 13 Chinese Coast Guard vessels sailed in the contiguous zone just outside Japan’s territorial waters near the Senkaku Islands on Sunday, according to Japan’s broadcaster (NHK World).

The number was the largest since Japan’s government purchased some of the islands in September 2012.

Many Chinese fishing boats have been operating near the islands since the fishing season opened earlier this month.

A fishing agreement between the two countries allows fishing boats from both nations to operate in the area.

Last Friday, two Chinese Coast Guard vessels, along with Chinese fishing boats, intruded into Japanese territorial waters near the islands.

On Saturday, seven Chinese vessels were spotted in the adjacent waters, an increase from three on the previous day.

Six more ships joined the flotilla on Sunday to bring the total number of vessels to 13.

Some of them have repeatedly trespassed into Japanese territorial waters around the islands.

Japan controls the Senkaku Islands. China and Taiwan claim them.

Source: Qatar News Agency