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Japan Confirms Submarine Spotted near Senkakus as Chinese
Tokyo, Jan. 12 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government found out Friday a submarine that entered the contiguous zone surrounding Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture the previous day belongs to the Chinese navy.
The confirmation was made on reports from the Maritime Self-Defense Force's destroyers that chased the submarine, Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters.
According to the Defense Ministry, crew members of the Oyodo and Onami destroyers saw the submarine raise the Chinese national flag when it broached close to the MSDF ships in the high seas on Friday afternoon. The destroyers stopped chasing the vessel as it headed toward China.
Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Shinsuke Sugiyama phoned Chinese Ambassador to Japan Cheng Yonghua to lodge a fresh protest, saying that the entry by a submarine into a contiguous zone means "a unilateral change of status quo and a serious escalation" of the already tense situation surrounding the Japanese-administered island chain, also claimed by China.
"It was an act that unilaterally increased tension," Onodera said, adding Japan is deeply concerned and will beef up its surveillance system.