Chinese naval vessel enters Japan's territorial waters

Japan's Defense Ministry says a Chinese naval vessel sailed inside Japan's territorial waters off the southern prefecture of Kagoshima for about three and a half hours on Thursday.

The ministry says the survey ship was first spotted traveling westward in Japan's contiguous zone south-southeast of Tanegashima Island at around 3:30 a.m.

Officials say it entered Japan's territorial waters south of Yakushima Island at around 7:20 a.m. and left the territorial waters west of Kuchinoerabu Island shortly after 10:50 a.m. and headed west.

The officials say this is the seventh time that a Chinese naval vessel has been confirmed to have entered Japan's territorial waters.

The ministry says the Japanese government conveyed its concern over the matter to China through diplomatic channels.

A Chinese naval survey vessel navigated inside Japan's territorial waters near Yakushima Island in November last year, and in April and July this year.

The ministry says it is monitoring the activities of Chinese vessels and analyzing the purpose of their navigations.