Japan says that it may release recorded radar data as evidence to prove that a Chinese naval frigate locked its fire-control radar onto a Japanese ship near the disputed Senkaku islands. The Japanese government said this after Beijing rejected accusations it had targeted the destroyer last month.
The two nations are embroiled in an intense territorial dispute over the islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. Japan has assumed control over the islands, which are also claimed by Taiwan. “The government is considering the extent of what can be disclosed,” Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said. The action is being considered as China has continued to insist that its ship was only using ordinary surveillance radar. Earlier this week, Mr. Onodera said a Japanese military helicopter was also targeted with a similar type of radar by another Chinese frigate on January 19.
On Friday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called on the Chinese government and military to acknowledge the January 30 incident and apologize. But China’s Defense Ministry has denied these allegations, saying that they “were against the facts” and they are urging Japan to “stop stirring up tension in the East China Sea”. In its statement, the Chinese Defense Ministry further added that in each incident, the Chinese vessel “kept normal observation and alert, and fire control radar was not used”.
Since the row over the Senkakus started up again last September, Chinese vessels have been traveling in and out of what Japan says are territorial waters around the islands, prompting the heightened warnings from Tokyo.[ via BBC ]