China: November 2, 2000


Japan reports that the number of Chinese vessels conducting illegal espionage and geological survey operations inside Japanese territorial waters is sharply increasing. There were four such incidents in 1997, 16 in 1998, 33 in 1999 (along with the first two intrusions by North Korean gunboats)., and 24 in the first eight months of 2000. Under current Japanese laws, the Coast Guard and Maritime Self-Defense Force cannot intercept or board such units, but can only report their presence to the Foreign Ministry which then files a stern note of protest.--Stephen V Cole


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