Chinese vessel may have entered Japanese waters

Japan's Defense Ministry says it believes that a Chinese naval vessel entered Japanese waters near remote islands in the southern prefecture of Kagoshima.

Ministry officials say that the Chinese ship was confirmed to be sailing westward from a contiguous zone south of Yakushima Island toward Japan's territorial waters on Wednesday night.

They say the vessel was then navigating westward before dawn on Thursday in Japan's contiguous zone west of Kuchinoerabu Island.

The ministry says it has determined that the naval ship entered Japanese territorial waters.

The officials say it was the first time that a Chinese naval vessel has entered Japanese territorial waters since July 2017.