Japan regards China's drilling operations in the East Sea as "provocative" to regional security, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters on May 9 when asked about China’s move to position its oil rig in waters off the Hoang Sa (Paracel) Archipelago.

"We regard the latest case as being part of a series of unilateral and provocative maritime advancement activities by China," he was quoted as saying by Kyodo News.

The minister further said, "We think China should clearly explain the basis and details of its activities to Vietnam and the international community."

Kishida went on to say that peace and stability in the East Sea are a common issue for the international community, and that disputes should be addressed peacefully through dialogue.

He also mentioned official consultations between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China on a legally binding Code of Conduct (COC) in the East Sea, adding that Japan will urge China and other countries with overlapping territorial claims in the East Sea to restrain themselves and abide by international law so as to reduce tensions.-VNA