Chinese vessel conducts illegal survey near Dioayu Islands, says Japan

Chinese vessel spotted early Sunday within Exclusive Economic Zone

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File photo: Japanese Coast Guard vessel near Daioyu Islands

File photo: Japanese Coast Guard vessel near Daioyu Islands (Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Japanese government has reported that China conducted an illegal survey within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Diaoyu Islands, or the Senkaku Islands, which are controlled by Japan, but also claimed by both Taiwan and China.

The Japanese Coast Guard reportedly caught a Chinese vessel early Sunday morning (June 16) performing a survey operation with a cable lowered into the sea approximately 89 nautical miles from the largest island of the Dioayu chain.

Sunday’s illegal survey, conducted without the consent of the Japanese authorities, follows 64 days of Chinese vessels skirting the edge of the 200 nautical mile EEZ around the Diaoyu Islands, reports NHK.

Chinese vessels have not conducted such a continuous survey of the region since 2012, shortly after the Japanese government purchased the islands from a private Japanese owner. The Japanese Coast Guard says that the Chinese ships left the area on Friday (June 14), two days before Sunday's illegal survey.

On Sunday morning, the Japanese Coast Guard issued a warning to the Chinese vessel, which it initially ignored. NHK reports that the Chinese ship left the EEZ about two hours after it was warned by the Japanese Coast Guard.

It is unclear what manner of survey the ship was conducting.