Japan protests over China's radar unit near disputed waters

August 7, 2016 11:01

TOKYO - Japan has filed a protest to Beijing after the discovery that China installed radar equipment in a gas exploration platform close to disputed waters in the East China Sea, a Japanese foreign ministry spokesman said on Sunday.

Japan fears that the radar, a type commonly found on patrol ships and not necessary for gas field development, could be a sign that China intends to use gas exploration platforms in the disputed waters as military stations, Japanese media said.

Japan has been calling on China to halt construction of oil-and-gas exploration platforms in the East China Sea, accusing it of unilateral development despite a 2008 agreement to maintain cooperation on resources development in the area, where no official border between them has been drawn.

The latest protests adds to bilateral tensions between the two Asian neighbors over territorial claims and comes less than a month after an arbitration court in The Hague invalidated China's sweeping claims in the South China Sea.

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