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A Chinese submarine is suspected to be off the coast of a southern Japanese island, according to the defense ministry. The detection of the submarine was announced on Sunday, Sept. 12, 2021. Japan’s caution levels have been heightened in the East China Sea due to China’s increased military activities.
In a statement, the ministry stated the underwater craft remained submerged. They believe it is a Chinese craft due to the Chinese Luyang III-class guided-missile destroyer being close by it.
The submarine moved northwest off the eastern coast of the Amamioshima Island which is roughly 420 miles northeast of the disputed East China Sea. The ministry stated that the area is also being claimed by Beijing.
On Sunday morning the submarine was heading west.
Neither the Chinese ship nor the detected submarine has entered Japanese territorial water. Underwater crafts are required — by international law — to surface when passing off the coast of another country and show a national flag when inside territorial waters.
Three reconnaissance aircraft and two destroyers were sent by Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force as an early warning and to gather intel to analyze China’s intentions.
Back in June 2020, a suspected Chinese submarine was also spotted in the area.
The Chinese have defended their maritime activities by saying they have a right to defend security, sovereignty, and development interests.
Japan has been alarmed by China’s growing naval activities in the South and East China seas. They have been stepping up their defense in the country’s southwestern regions and islands north of the disputed islands.
According to Japanese officials, Chinese vessels have routinely violated Japan’s territorial waters around the islands. They further stated these vessels have been threatening to the country’s fishing boats at times.
Tokyo stated it opposes China’s unilateral aim to change the status quo in the region. Furthermore, there have been protests on the regular about the Chinese coast guard’s ever-growing presence near the disputed islands.
Written by Sheena Robertson
Yahoo! News: Japan detects suspected China submarine near southern island; by MARI YAMAGUCHI
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