London: China’s Foreign Ministry has said it is conducting an ‘earnest, solemn’ investigation into Tokyo’ claim that a Chinese Navy vessel had locked its weapon-targeting radar on a Japanese ship last month.
Spokeswoman Hua Chunying also accused Japan of trying to smear China by ‘stirring up a crisis’.
The radar incident happened near a group of islands in the East China Sea that are claimed by both the countries.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that it was a ‘dangerous act’, and told Parliament that the move could have led to an ‘unpredictable situation’ and called for Chinese ‘self-restraint’, the BBC reports.
China has not officially commented on the incident until now, and the Defence Ministry has not yet addressed it.
According to the report, on Tuesday, Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said a Chinese Navy frigate close to the islands had locked its weapon-targeting radar on a Japanese Navy ship on January 30, prompting Tokyo to protest to Beijing.
He said a Japanese military helicopter was also targeted with a similar type of radar by another Chinese frigate on January 19.
The radar equipment is used to pinpoint the location of a target for missiles. Once the radar is locked on, weapons can be fired immediately.
Abe said the incident was ‘extremely regrettable’, but said Japan ‘will not close the window of dialogue’, the report added.