Two China Coast Guard (CCG) ships intruded into Japan’s territorial waters off the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture on Sunday evening and Monday morning, according to the 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters.
The two vessels entered in quick succession into the territorial waters off the islands of Kuba and Minami-Kojima, part of the prefecture’s Ishigaki City, between 11:42 p.m. Sunday and 0:22 a.m. Monday, according to the headquarters in Naha.
At 9 a.m., they were still seen navigating in waters near Uotsuri Island, one of the Senkakus. A Japan Coast Guard patrol boat was on alert in the vicinity as a 9.7-ton Japanese fishing boat carrying three crew members operated nearby.
According to the headquarters, the two ships had earlier entered the territorial waters as they approached the Japanese fishing boat sometime before 2 p.m. Sunday. They left the territorial waters by 3:40 p.m. on the same day, but repeated their intrusion to follow the Japanese boat.
The Japanese government on Monday morning lodged a protest with Beijing through diplomatic channels over the CCG vessels’ intrusions into Japan’s territorial waters.