After Japan announced plans to conduct a maritime survey in the East Sea, a Japanese patrol boat appeared near Korea’s Dokdo islets last weekend. Appearances of Japanese naval vessels near Korean waters have been increasing in recent years.
At 11 a.m. on Saturday, Korean activists captured video footage of a naval vessel approaching a Korean passenger liner in the East Sea.
"The vessel was approaching our ship at full speed. It was a Japanese naval vessel. I could see the word Japan Coast Guard clearly, and also the Japanese flag," a witness said.
The Korea Coast Guard confirmed that a 195-ton Japanese patrol boat passed through Korea's Exclusive Economic Zone on Saturday morning. It added the disputed vessel did not violate Korea's territorial waters, but four Korean patrol ships were standing by in case it did. This is the 18th time this year alone that a Japanese patrol boat has appeared near the Dokdo islets.
Most of the time, this wouldn't be a big deal, but with tensions running high, both sides really do need to show the upmost care and caution.