Japan says suspected Chinese submarine seen near territorial waters

Japan’s defence ministry said on Sunday that a submarine believed to be from China was spotted in waters near its southern islands, as maritime tensions persist in the Pacific.

Aug 31, 2021: Japan’s military wants a record US$50 billion for next year’s defence budget. The hike in spending aims to beef up Tokyo’s capabilities against regional threats. The military has sounded the alarm on security concerns near remote islands claimed by both Japan and China. Defence forces are also concerned about rising tensions between the mainland and Taiwan. Senior Associate Professor Stephen Nagy from the International Christian University in Tokyo explained how Japan’s defence spending plan compares to others in the region.

Japan’s navy on Friday morning identified a submerged vessel sailing northwest just outside territorial waters near Amami Oshima island, part of Kagoshima prefecture, the ministry said in a statement. A Chinese destroyer was also spotted in the vicinity.

Tokyo has complained of numerous intrusions by Chinese vessels into its territorial waters and near disputed islands in recent years. China has often reacted angrily to U.S. ships sailing through disputed areas of the South China Sea in what Washington calls displays of freedom of navigation.

Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi, visiting Vietnam during a Southeast Asia trip, said those two countries should refrain from unilateral actions regarding the South China Sea that could complicate and magnify disputes.

Sunday’s announcement said Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force identified the vessels in a contiguous zone, which is outside territorial waters where vessels are required to identify themselves. Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi instructed his staff to “gather information and maintain vigilant surveillance with a sense of urgency,” the statement said.

China’s Defence Ministry did not respond to a request for comment immediately and officials at the Chinese embassy could not immediately be reached for comment on Sunday.

The submarine continued underwater westward in the ocean near Yokoate Island, the ministry said.

https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/japan-says-suspected-chinese-submarine-seen-near-territorial-waters-2021-09-12/

Published by amongthefray

News with a historical perspective. Fighting against misinformation, hate, and revisionist history.

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