Japan says China missile radar targeted its ship in island dispute


Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera speaks to reporters at the Defense Ministry in Tokyo on Feb. 5, 2013.


Yoshikazu Tsuno

A Chinese military ship directed a weapons-related radar system at a Japanese vessel on Tuesday, Japan's government says.

On Jan. 30, "something like fire-control radar" was directed at a Japan self-defense maritime escort ship in the East China Sea, Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said, according to The Telegraph.

“The Defense Ministry today confirmed radar for targeting was used,” Onodera added.

China's ambassador to Japan rejected the accusations

Onodera said a Japanese helicopter was also targeted by a similar radar system a couple of days prior, CNN reported.

"Directing such radar is very abnormal," he said. "We recognize it would create a very dangerous situation if a single misstep occurred."

Onodera added, "We will seek the Chinese side's self-restraint from taking such dangerous action."

Both incidents reportedly occurred in the East China Sea near the uninhabited islands known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China. 

Asia's two largest economies have been locked in a dispute over the islands, each claiming territorial sovereignty.

Also on Tuesday, Tokyo called in China's envoy to protest Chinese vessels around the islands. 

"The foreign ministry summoned the Chinese ambassador over ships entering the waters near Senkaku islands," said an official.