News / Asia

Japan Protests Chinese Ship's Alleged Use of Radar to Guide Missiles

Japan's Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera speaks to reporters at the Defence Ministry in Tokyo February 5, 2013.
Japan's Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera speaks to reporters at the Defence Ministry in Tokyo February 5, 2013.
Japan has summoned China to protest what Japanese authorities consider actions by Beijing's forces that threaten to escalate tensions over disputed remote islands.  The Japanese Foreign Ministry summoned Chinese ambassador Cheng Yonghua to complain about two recent incidents Tokyo considers provocative.

Defense ministry officials say a Chinese Jiangwei-2 class frigate directed weapons-related fire-control radar last Wednesday at a Japanese maritime-self-defense-force vessel.  They say a similar incident involving a Jiangwei-1 class frigate occurred on January 19 and targeted a Japanese military helicopter.

The radar locked on the ship for some time, from a distance of three kilometers, on January 30, said Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera. The defense minister told reporters this extremely unusual action could have resulted in a dangerous incident.

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Click to Enlarge
Click to Enlarge
Japan says the radar the Chinese ship used is normally for guiding missiles.

Tensions have been increasing in the East China Sea over a group of uninhabited islands, the largest of which encompasses barely four-square kilometers.  In recent months, China and Japan scrambled fighter jets and have had their maritime patrols closely monitor each other.

The islands, held by Japan, are known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese.

Japan issued a separate protest Tuesday complaining about the latest incursion by Chinese ships into its waters. Japanese media reports say Deputy Foreign Minister Akitaka Saiki told the summoned Chinese envoy the intrusions “totally counter” expectations for improved relations between the two countries.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters the presence of the maritime-surveillance ships is “extremely regrettable and totally unacceptable.”

China's Foreign Ministry responded that its ships are on official duty, conducting regular patrols in waters around islands that are Chinese.

Japan's government has announced it plans to boost its defense budget for the first time in more than a decade and give its coast guard additional ships and personnel.

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

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Comment Sorting
by: Samurai from: Japan
February 07, 2013 10:17 PM
@Yoshi, We shouldn't believe what the Chinese spokeswoman says. PRC government is pretending to know nothing about the lock-on incident; moreover, it is blaming the other party (Japanese government) by saying that Japanese destroyer has locked its radar wave on the Chinese Warship. What a rotten loser the PRC government is! Chinese never understands the spirit of chivalry (Bushido).

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
February 07, 2013 2:34 AM
Japanese government seems making calm response to this incident. If the situation was reverse, how would have Chinese government responsed? It is reported that Chinese foreingn ministry did not catch this incidence until the news was on air from the Japanese side. It is suspected that this action might have been carried out by an independent decision of Chinese military. Chinese government is asked if it has enough command of its military.

by: Rex from: PGH
February 06, 2013 7:29 AM
This is a common thing. The Russians do it to us every day of the year and we in turn do it to them. Get over it.
In Response

by: Anonymous
February 06, 2013 11:02 PM
Not likely they'll get over it any time soon. This the same country who reminds the world, every chance it gets, that it had a couple of A-bombs dropped on it as if it did not deserve them. This is the same country who denies and whitewashes, every chance it gets, the atrocities they committed in China, Korea, and many other countries. This is the same country whose submarines were lurking off our west coast during the world war with hostile intent. Lest we forget.

by: Wong from: USA
February 06, 2013 2:23 AM
The Chinese aim at the Japanese and the Japanese know. If the Japanese aim at the Chinese, the the Chinese probablycan not know. The Jap play dumb with the Chinese!

Why does younger generation of Chinese stil remember what happened almost a century ago? It's just like yesterday? If we go pass the day before yesterday or further we could see the Chinese invaded and killed other countries and wiped out the whole population.

How many more deaths do you want to see?

by: chihuahua from: santa clara
February 06, 2013 12:24 AM
Chicom is going to be arrogant and very provocative in action for testing the reaction of Japanese and uncle Sam....bcause they think they can get away of it since uncle Sam debt is building up and there is no way uncle sam can pay back chicom will swallow island by island from japan to philipine , vietnam and all of southeast asian countries. WAR is coming. To my Nippon friends, you should be ready for this action and don't be afraid of those panda empty brain! stealing act is a thief and traditional way of chicom.

by: Scheider from: B.R.Deutschland
February 05, 2013 9:55 PM
@Godwin from Accra, Chinese people should know that their Communist leaders are diverting their attention from domestic matters such as their leaders' corruptions, air pollution, no freedom of speech, economic divide, and so on. If they want have an enemy to revenge, they must aim at Communist leaders as targets.

by: UnderNoMake from: Japan
February 05, 2013 5:08 PM
To KILLER001 and Godwin,

There you go again! ….according to your theory, for example, Native Americans could have a legal right to kill white US citizens NOW? … Anyway, you always want to dwell on the past, but we dwell NOW. You should realize yourself not to be respected all over the world NOW. The more stubborn you are, the more isolated from surrounding countries NOW.
In Response

by: jj from: Us
February 06, 2013 8:18 AM
"Anyway, you always want to dwell on the past, but we dwell NOW."
Because you Japs have a dirty history. You want to forget it.
In Response

by: Anonymous
February 06, 2013 12:54 AM
There is no justice in this world, just power. When you are strong, what you do is justice. It is absolutely that most Japanese is friendly,but some politicians is not friendly, they kidnap all Japanese as their chess. Both Chinese and Japanese like to be peaceful. We hope Japan politicians stop to create issues on Diaoyu island.
In Response

by: killer001 from: china
February 06, 2013 12:49 AM
japan is isolated from surrounding contries too,that just the outcome the us want to see

by: Godwin from: Accra
February 05, 2013 10:44 AM
I guess the Chinese have suffered too much and too long from the Japanese and other western countries. The are only looking for ways to pay back a little of what was done to them.
That's fair, isn't it?
In Response

by: killer001 from: china
February 06, 2013 12:55 AM
you have got the main point

by: UnderNoMake from: Japan
February 05, 2013 8:51 AM
How many countries suffer from China? Vietnam, Bhutan, Tibet, Nepal, Australia, Philippine, S. Korea, Japan… Even though they become a superpower, very few people look up to them.
Stealing ideas, Air pollutions, Hacking, Cyber attacks, No freedom of speech, Invasions….they act like cancer cells in the world.
In Response

by: 1 from: 1
February 06, 2013 7:22 AM
add India Mongolia and Kazakhstan to the list
In Response

by: wang from: china
February 05, 2013 9:44 PM
japanese,listen,you should know what you have done decades should learn history carefully ,thus not to omit it.
In Response

by: UndeNoMake from: Japan
February 05, 2013 5:27 PM
Dear KILLER001, Yes, I have, and I can speak and read Chinese. When I visited Beijing, it was very fine day with clear blue sky in a summer. They were very kind and friendly...., but no longer now, unfortunately.
In Response

by: America from: U.S.A
February 05, 2013 12:57 PM
@UnderNoMake, you are absolutely correct. China has no shame
of doing them.
In Response

by: Anonymous
February 05, 2013 10:42 AM
as KILLER001 mentioned, we have to look at what other countries done to china decades ago.
But, what we also need to know is that china is about to revenge.
In Response

by: KILLER001 from: CHINA
February 05, 2013 9:41 AM
do you have ever been to china? please not just listen,you should open your eyes to see what had happened in the history and what the westeners and japanese had done to the chinese people. this dispute was made by us,and what the us want to do now is using this issue to contol the second and the third

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