Japan Says Suspected Chinese language Submarine Seen Close to Territory Waters | World information

(Corrects the date to Sunday in the fifth paragraph)

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Defense Ministry said Sunday that a submarine believed to have originated in China has been sighted in waters near its southern islands amid maritime tensions in the Pacific.

The Japanese Navy identified a sunken ship Friday morning sailing northwest just outside the territorial waters near Amami Oshima Island, which is part of Kagoshima Prefecture, the ministry said in a statement. A Chinese destroyer was also seen nearby.

Tokyo has complained of numerous intrusions by Chinese ships into its territorial waters and near disputed islands in recent years. China has often reacted angrily to US ships sailing through controversial areas of the South China Sea in what Washington calls demonstrations of freedom of navigation https://www.reuters.com/world/china/china-says-drove-away-us- warship-shina-lake-2021-07-12.

Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi, who visited Vietnam while on a trip to Southeast Asia, said those two countries should refrain from doing it https://www.reuters.com/world/china/china-vietnam-should-avoid-magnifying-s-china -sea- disputes-china-wang-yi-2021-09-11 of unilateral actions in relation to the South China Sea, which could aggravate and exacerbate disputes.

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Sunday’s announcement said Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force had identified the ships in a contiguous zone outside of the territorial waters where the ships were required to identify themselves. However, Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi instructed his staff to “gather information and monitor it with a sense of urgency,” the statement said.

Officials from the Chinese embassy were not immediately available on Sunday for comment.

The submarine continued underwater in a westerly direction near Yokoate Island, the ministry said.

(Reporting by Rocky Swift in Tokyo; Editing by William Mallard)

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