Chinese military vessels spotted moving toward Diaoyutai Islands (focustaiwan.tw)
Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force spotted seven Chinese military vessels moving toward the disputed Diaoyutai Islands in the East China Sea Tuesday, Japan's Joint Staff Office under its Ministry of Defense said that day.
The statement, made on its official website, said Japanese P-3C anti-submarine reconnaissance planes spotted the Chinese vessels navigating in the Pacific toward the East China Sea at around 7 a.m.
They were around 44 km southwest of Nakanokami Island and around 49 km south-south-east of Yanaguni Island in Okinawa Prefecture.
The ships included a type 051 destroyer and a type 052 destroyer, the statement said.
Japan's Fuji TV cited several Japanese government officials as reporting that Japan could not tell the precise locations, but saying that the ships could enter the waters around the Diaoyutai Islands, which lie 100 nautical miles off Taiwan's northeastern tip.
The reports said the Japanese government ordered its Maritime Self-Defense Force to send military ships to the area to be on alert and monitor the situation.
A crisis management center at the Japanese prime minister's official residence also stepped up collection of intelligence, the reports said.
Meanwhile, as Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba left on a visit Monday to France, the United Kingdom and Germany to explain Japan's stance on the Diaoyutai Islands, China's state-owned People's Daily cited European scholars as saying that Japan needs to learn from Germany and admit the crimes it committed during World War II.
The report cited German scholar Nele Noesselt as saying that the controversy surrounding the Diaoyutai Islands is a remnant of history.
Noesselt said that after the end of the second world war, Germany admitted its war crimes and sought reconciliation with neighboring France and Poland.
Germany also worked with France and Poland to make sure that school textbooks reflect the integrity of history.
In Japan, however, people are divided, with those who acknowledge history and those who do not. Japanese right-wing forces, which refuse to recognize historical fact, still fund textbooks that wrongly represent history.
Tension between China and Japan flared up after Japan made moves to nationalize the island chain by buying three of the uninhabited islets from its private owner Sept. 11