Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Japan: China copter buzzes Maritime Self-Defense Force near disputed oil field

A helicopter of China's State Oceanic Administration approached a Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer Monday afternoon near an East China Sea gas field where both Japan and China have claimed exploration rights, according to the Defense Ministry.

The government lodged a protest with China through diplomatic channels, calling the helicopter's approach a "dangerous act."

The incident occurred at around 1:25 p.m. where China is developing a gas field called Shirakaba in Japan and Chunxiao in China, with the helicopter approaching as close as 70 meters to the vessel horizontally and only 40 meters above the sea, the Defense Ministry's Joint Staff said. (read more)