Japan Coast Guard ship Settsu. Creative Commons photo, Flckr user muzina_shanghai.

Japan Probe has a post on the latest showdown on the high seas. This time, a Japan Coast Guard ship was chased out of Japanese territorial waters (or rather, waters Japan claims, anyway) by a Chinese survey ship half its size.

The latest incident occurred on Monday afternoon in the East China Sea, about 320 kilometers northwest of Amami Oshima Island, Kagoshima Prefecture.

A crewmember of the Chinese ship, the 1,690-ton Haijian 51, demanded by radio that the JCG’s 3,000-ton Shoyo discontinue its marine survey, claiming that Chinese rules apply to the area.

The Haijian pursued the Shoyo for about three hours from around 2 p.m. and came as close as one kilometer to the Japanese vessel at one point, forcing the JCG to discontinue its survey mission.

This is the first time that a Chinese vessel has approached a Japanese survey ship and asked it to discontinue a marine survey.

How do you get chased out of your own territorial waters?

This comes after a month of provocations by the Chinese. I was willing to chalk up two incidents involving Chinese helicopters nearing Japanese ships, and a Chinese fleet sortieing near Okinawa as poorly timed assertions of growing naval power, but this is increasingly looks like a campaign of harassment.

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A contributor and editor at the blog War Is Boring, Kyle Mizokami started Japan Security Watch in 2010 to further understand Japan's defenses and security policy.
Kyle Mizokami has 596 post(s) on Japan Security Watch