Japan is closely monitoring Chinese navy activities in the waters around the country after fighter jets and helicopters were seen taking off and landing on a Chinese aircraft carrier off the southwestern prefecture of Okinawa, the government spokesman said on Monday.
These activities could be part of China’s efforts to strengthen its joint air and sea operational capabilities in the Pacific, and Japan will continue to take into account the situation and maintain surveillance at sea and in the air, the press said. Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno. Report.
China’s aircraft carrier Liaoning is pictured in the Pacific Ocean south of Okinawa Prefecture on May 7, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Japan’s Ministry of Defense) (Kyodo)
The Chinese navy flotilla consisting of the Liaoning aircraft carrier, missile destroyers and a supply ship sailed through the waters between the main island of Okinawa Prefecture and Miyako Island last week. Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force sent its helicopter carrier Izumo there for surveillance.
The aircraft carrier was in waters about 160 kilometers south of Ishigaki Island in the prefecture on Sunday, the defense ministry said, adding that fighter jets and helicopters were spotted taking off and landing. in Liaoning for the sixth consecutive day.
“The government will continue to monitor Chinese military movements in the waters around Japan,” Matsuno said.
China has taken strong action at sea in an apparent show of strength, keeping Japanese authorities alert against unilateral attempts to change the status quo by force.
Japan has expressed concern about the ramifications of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for the Indo-Pacific region.
In a separate move, Japan on Monday lodged a protest with China over the intrusion earlier in the day of two Chinese Coast Guard vessels into Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. The uninhabited islets are controlled by Japan but claimed by China, which calls them Diaoyu.
“It is totally regrettable and intolerable that Chinese coastguard vessels have entered territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands,” Matsuno said.
“Such activities violate international law in the first place. We lodged a protest through diplomatic channels and strongly urged them to quickly leave territorial waters,” he added.