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On Sunday, the defense ministry of Japan stated that they detected a submarine which is believed to be of China near a southern Japanese island, and as a result, Japan increased its caution level in the East China Sea considering the increase in China’s military activities.

The ministry issued a statement and said that the submarine belongs to China because a Chinese Luyang III-class guided missile destroyer was located near the submarine even though the submarine remained submerged.

The ministry also added that the submarine moved northeast from the Amamioshima Island’s eastern coast, about 700 kilometers (420 miles) of the disputed East China Sea islands controlled by Japan, which are also claimed by Beijing. On Sunday, the submarine was headed west in the East China Sea.

The submarine or the ship did not enter the Japanese territorial water. It is necessary for the submarines passing through the coast of another country to show a national flag inside territorial waters as per the international law.

In an attemp to gather information to determine China’s intentions, Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force sent three reconnaissance aircraft and two destroyers to the area as an early warning.

In June 2020, another submarine was spotted, which was also believed to be Chinese. China stated that it has the right to defend its sovereignty, security and develop interests. Increase in the naval activities by China has caused Japan to increase its defense in the southwestern regions and islands located in the north of the disputed islands.

Tokyo opposes China’s attempts to change the status quo in the disputed region, and is against China’s increasing presence near the disputed islands. Japanese officials stated that China’s naval activities violate their territorial waters around the islands, and even threaten their fishing boats.