Tokyo [Japan], August 4 (ANI): Japanese government on Thursday condemned the firing of five ballistic missiles by the Chinese military in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and characterised this action as an "extremely coercive" move.
China is conducting live-fire drills in response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan. The missiles that China launched today fell in an area located southwest of Hateruma Island in the southern prefecture of Okinawa.
Japan's Kyodo News reported that Tokyo has asked Beijing to immediately stop the military drills. "This is a grave issue that concerns our country's national security and the safety of the people," said Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi.
The Fumio Kishida government also lodged a diplomatic protest with the Chinese government. The Japanese publication has said the government slammed Chinese drills near Senkaku Islands, saying that the area overlaps with the EEZ.
Taiwan has strongly condemned China's "North Korea" style missile firing into waters near the self-governed island as it asked Beijing to exercise self-restraint.
"On August 4, China launched multiple ballistic missiles into waters to the northeast and southwest of Taiwan, threatening Taiwan's national security, escalating regional tensions, and affecting regular international traffic and trade," the Taiwan foreign ministry said in a statement.
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) of the Republic of China (Taiwan) strongly condemns the Chinese government for following the example of North Korea in willfully test-firing missiles into waters near other countries, and demands that China exercise self-restraint," it added.
Live-fire drills began in at least six identified zones around the island, that regard its own and threaten to take over. The Chinese PLA organized joint combat training exercises near Taiwan waters and airspace, Xinhua news agency reported.
The Taiwan government has urged the international community to condemn China's military coercion toward Taiwan.
"The ministry also calls on countries around the globe to continue to speak up in support of democratic Taiwan in order to jointly safeguard the values of freedom and democracy, to maintain the rules-based international order, and to ensure a free and open Indo-Pacific," it said.
Pelosi's high-stakes visit marks the first visit by a US House Speaker in 25 years since Newt Gingrich came to Taiwan in April 1997. It was also Pelosi's first trip to Taiwan in 22 years.
After Pelosi left Taipei, China sent 27 aircraft into Taiwan's air defence identification zone (ADIZ). Pelosi on Wednesday said the Congressional delegation's visit should be seen as a strong statement that America stands with Taiwan. (ANI)