Japan protests suspected Chinese maritime survey in EEZ

Japanese Foreign Ministry officials say a Chinese ship was spotted releasing what was likely observation equipment into the sea in Japan's exclusive economic zone near the southern prefecture of Okinawa.

The officials said a Coast Guard patrol boat spotted the research vessel on Saturday about 73 kilometers north of Ishigaki Island.

The ministry lodged a protest with Beijing through diplomatic channels, saying that if the country was conducting a maritime survey without Japan's consent, it would be extremely regrettable. It said if that were the case, China should immediately stop the survey.