Japan on January 12 critisised China ’s new fishing restrictions in the East Sea and vowed to protect its territory after three Chinese ships entered territorial waters around the disputed Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea .

Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera made the criticism after observing the Japanese Self-Defence Forces' elite airborne brigade conducting airdrop drills designed to hone their skills to defend and retake remote islands.
Onodera said the curbs, coupled with China ’s launch of the Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea last year, have stirred concern in the international community.

This kind of unilaterally setting is only suitable for a country to treat its own territorial waters, and imposing certain restrictions on fishing boats is not something that is internationally tolerated, he added.

The fishing rules, which was approved by China 's southern Hainan province in November 2013 and took effect on January 1, 2014 also triggered protests from the US and the Philippines .

Washington called the rules “provocative and potentially dangerous”, which seriously violate the maritime and fishing freedom of all countries in the international waters as stipulated in the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

According to the US Department of State, China’s move escalates tensions and unnecessarily complicates the East Sea situation, threatening peace and stability in the region.

The Chinese coastguard vessels sailed into the 12-nautical-mile territorial waters at about 8:30 am (local time) off one of the Senkaku islands, which China also claims and calls Diaoyu, Japan's coastguard said, adding that they left less than two hours later.-VNA