China’s Ministry of Defense said on Tuesday that its navy vessels’ activities around the Diaoyu Islands are legitimate, condemning Japanese military aircraft’s presence there.
“Chinese navy vessels’ routine training and navigation in the waters in question is justified and legitimate,” said the ministry’s bureau for press affairs in a statement.
The statement came in response to a report by Japan’s Fuji TV saying that a number of Chinese navy vessels were navigating toward the Diaoyu Islands on Tuesday morning.
The report quoted Japanese defense minister Satoshi Morimoto as saying that Japan has dispatched surveillance aircraft to follow the Chinese fleet, while its navy is now collecting intelligence and strengthening its surveillance over the Chinese fleet.
“It should be pointed out that Japan in recent days sent military aircraft to the waters around the Diaoyu Islands, severely infringing on China’s sovereignty and interests,” said the statement, adding that China is now closely watching Japan’s movement and demanding the Japanese stop any actions that can complicate or magnify the issue.