Japan to patrol disputed islands if China sails too close: Report

Chinese Coast Guard ship near the disputed islets in the East China Sea.
Chinese Coast Guard ship near the disputed islets in the East China Sea. PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan will respond to any intrusion by Chinese naval vessels into the waters around the disputed Senkaku islands, known in China as the Diaoyus, by ordering its Self-Defence Force (SDF) ships to patrol the area, the Yomiuri newspaper reported on Tuesday (Jan 12).

The SDF ships will be dispatched to urge Chinese naval vessels to leave if they come within about 22 km of the Senkaku, the newspaper said. Japan informed China of its intentions after Chinese ships sailed around the islands last November, it added.

International laws grant the right of passage of naval ships within other nations' territorial waters as long as they don't pose a threat to security, the report said.