Tokyo: Japan`s coastguard on Sunday warned a
Chinese marine research ship sailing near a disputed island
chain against conducting surveys there.
The ship, named the Beidou, was spotted early Sunday
by a coastguard plane some 60 kilometres off Uotsuri, part the
islands known as Senkaku by Japan and Diaoyu in Chinese, the
Japan coastguard said.
The chain, rich in undersea natural resources, is also
claimed by Taiwan.
It is the first time this year that a Chinese research
vessel has been confirmed as having deployed near the Senkaku
Islands, the coastguard said.
The plane and a coastguard patrol ship issued a
warning for the ship not to conduct marine research in Japan`s
exclusive economic zone without its approval.
But the Chinese ship continued sailing without
responding, trailing four wire-like objects from its stern,
the coastguard said.
On July 4, Beijing lodged a formal complaint with
Tokyo about Japanese fishing boats plying waters off the
island chain in the East China Sea.
Beijing and Tokyo have repeatedly quarrelled over
disputed maritime territories, and Japan has often voiced
concern about China`s rising defence spending and increasingly
assertive stance as a naval power.
Last year, China and Japan locked horns over the same
islands after Japan arrested a Chinese captain for ramming his
trawler against Japanese coastguard ships in the area.