Japan protests after Chinese missiles land in its exclusive economic zone

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TOKYO: China’s ballistic missiles are thought to have landed in Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) for the first time, according to Tokyo’s defense minister on Thursday (Aug 4).

“Five of China’s nine ballistic missiles are thought to have landed within Japan’s EEZ,” Nobuo Kishi told reporters, as China conducts extensive military exercises in the waters surrounding Taiwan.

Kishi stated that Japan “lodged a protest with China through diplomatic channels,” calling the situation “a significant problem that impacts our national security and the safety of our citizens.”

In response to popular concern about whether the missiles went over Taiwan’s main island, Taiwan’s defense ministry stated that the missiles traveled high into the sky and posed no threat to it.

Due to intelligence concerns, the ministry stated in a statement that it would not reveal the Chinese missile flight path.

Earlier, it was reported that 11 Chinese Dongfeng ballistic missiles were fired in the waters surrounding the island. China last launched missiles into the waters around Taiwan in 1996.

Despite Beijing’s warnings, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to the self-ruled island triggered the display of military force.

On Thursday, Pelosi’s plane touched down in Japan for the final destination on her Asian tour.

AFP correspondents witnessed Pelosi’s arrival from South Korea as the plane touched down at Tokyo’s Yokota Air Base.

Okinawa, Japan’s southernmost island region, is near to Taiwan. According to Kishi, this was the first time Chinese ballistic missiles landed in Japan’s EEZ.

Beyond Japan’s territorial seas, the EEZ extends up to 200 nautical miles from its coast.

Source: AFP and CNA news

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