Mon, Aug 08, 2016 - Page 1 News List

China installs radar in disputed waters: Japan media

RAISING ALARMS:The Japanese government is analyzing the radar’s capability and is concerned that Beijing could be intending to boost its military power in the area

AFP, TOKYO

China has installed a radar system with potential military functions in a disputed area of the East China Sea, Japanese media said yesterday.

The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said China had placed a surface search radar and surveillance camera on one of its structures in a gas field which is claimed by both nations, the Nikkei business daily reported.

The ministry on Friday complained to Beijing through diplomatic channels, the newspaper reported.

The paper said it was the first radar unit known to have been installed on any of the Chinese structures in the area, which is believed to be rich in oil and gas deposits.

Tokyo is analyzing the radar’s capability and is concerned that Beijing could be intending to boost its military power in the region.

The ministry did not respond to requests for comment.

Japan and China in 2008 agreed to jointly develop the undersea reserves in the disputed area, with a ban on unilateral drilling.

However, negotiations stalled and Tokyo suspects China has some drilling rigs in operation near its de facto maritime border with Japan.

Tokyo yesterday separately protested to Beijing after two Chinese ships entered Japanese waters near disputed islands also in the East China Sea.

The Japanese government said the two Chinese Coast Guard ships were sailing about 12 nautical miles (22.2km) west of one of the Japanese-controlled Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) — known as the Senkakus in Japan — which are also claimed by Taiwan and China, yesterday morning.

“The intrusion violates our nation’s sovereignty and is completely unacceptable,” Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Shinsuke Sugiyama told Beijing’s ambassador to Tokyo Cheng Yonghua (程永華) by telephone, according to a government statement.

The two vessels left the waters later in the day, the Japanese coastguard said.

On Saturday Japanese maritime officials reported seeing about 230 Chinese fishing vessels and seven Coast Guard ships, including four apparently carrying weapons, sailing into the same waters.

Japan has joined the US, the Philippines and others in urging China to abide by international law after the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, Netherlands, ruled in favor of the Philippines in its maritime dispute with Beijing.

Additional reporting by AP

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