Japan on Tuesday accused Chinese navy vessels of locking a weapons-targeting radar on a Japanese destroyer and helicopter amid escalating territorial disputes between the Asian powers.
Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera accused Chinese navy vessels of using the weapons radar in two incidents last month, on Jan. 19 and Jan. 30. He said it happened in the East China Sea, suggesting it was near disputed islands controlled by Japan but also claimed by China. He did not give an exact location.
Onodera said the action could have led to a dangerous situation. Shots were not fired on either occasion.
Locking up a ship or aircraft with fire control radar is generally considered a hostile act, and has often been sufficient to allow armed retaliation.
Both sides are carefully ratcheting up the tension, but someone is going to make an error of judgment, and shots are going to be fired.