Five Chinese ballistic missiles appear to have fired southwest of Hateruma iIland of Okinawa in Japan’s EEZ.
Five ballistic missiles fired by China are believed to have landed for the first time in waters within Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), Tokyo’s defense minister said.
China holds biggest-ever military exercise around Taiwan on Thursday following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the self-governing island, despite stern warnings from Beijing that the visit should not proceed.
Japan’s Special Economic Zone extends up to 200 nautical miles (about 370 km) from the country’s coastline, beyond the limits of its territorial sea and parts of Japan’s southernmost island of Okinawa close to Taiwan.
“Five out of nine ballistic missiles launched by China are believed to have landed within Japan’s exclusive economic zone,” Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi told reporters on Thursday.
Kishi said Japan has “protested to China through diplomatic channels”, calling the matter “a serious matter affecting our national security and the safety of its citizens”. we”.
Kishi said that the number of nine Chinese missiles fired was assessed by the Japanese side, adding that five missiles that landed in the exclusive economic zone appeared to have crashed southwest of Okinawa’s Hateruma island . Kishi said it was the first time that a Chinese ballistic missile landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.
Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi also called for an “immediate halt” of Beijing’s military exercises around Taiwan.
“China’s action this time has a serious impact on the peace and stability of the region and the international community,” Hayashi told reporters in Phnom Penh, where he was attending a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Southeast Asian country.
“I once again demand an immediate halt to these military exercises.”
‘Missile fire attack’
Tokyo has previously expressed concern to China about the drills, saying on Wednesday that they were planned to take place in maritime areas that overlap with its EEZ.
Kishi said all nine missiles fell in an area designated by China for the drills. The minister declined to comment on China’s intentions regarding the exercises, but still called them “extremely threatening”.
China’s exercises – the largest ever in the Taiwan Strait – began the day after Pelosi made a solidarity trip to the self-governing island that China claims as its own territory,
China said the exercise included a “conventional missile fire attack” in waters east of Taiwan and more than 100 aircraft, including fighter jets and bombers, and more than 10 ships. war participated.
Taiwan also confirmed that 11 Chinese Dongfeng ballistic missiles were fired in nearby waters – the first time such weapons have been launched in the strait since 1996.