Ballistic missiles launched by China to have landed in Japan's economic zone: Report
- Five of the nine ballistic missiles launched by China are believed to have landed within Japan's EEZ
- China has considered Taiwan as its territory and has vowed to one day seize, by force if necessary
- The missiles, likely fired from the Chinese mainland, have flown over the sky above Taiwan
Japan's defence minister Nobuo Kishi on Thursday said that five ballistic missiles believed to have been fired by China landed in the country's exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
Speaking to reporters, Kishi said this was a first and Japan had lodged a protest via diplomatic routes, calling the matter "a serious problem that affects our national security and the safety of our citizens".
Five of the nine ballistic missiles launched by China are believed to have landed within Japan's EEZ, the minister said. The development comes as China holds massive military drills in the waters around Taiwan following a visit by US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, despite stern warnings from Beijing.
Meanwhile, China has considered Taiwan as its territory and has vowed to one day seize, by force if necessary.
The figure of nine missiles fired was an assessment by the Japanese side, Kishi said. Parts of Japan's southernmost island region Okinawa are close to Taiwan.
The EEZ extends up to 200 nautical miles from Japan's coastline, beyond the limits of its territorial waters.
"The exercises involved troops from the Navy, Air Force, Rocket Force, Strategic Support Force and Logistic Support Force under the Eastern Theatre Command," official news agency, Xinhua, said in a report on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Global Times said, "Video clips taken by netizens soon circulated on social media showing that long-range rockets were fired from Pingtan, eastern China’s Fujian province, only 125 kilometres away from the island of Taiwan."
This means that the missiles, likely fired from the Chinese mainland, have flown over the sky above Taiwan, anonymous observers told the tabloid.