SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A South Korean ship is being held at a domestic port over suspicions that it illegally provided oil to heavily sanctioned North Korea, officials said Wednesday.
China-Japan drawing closer amid trade pressure from US
BEIJING (AP) — Shared trade friction with the U.S. appears to be drawing longtime Asian rivals China and Japan closer, with Chinese President Xi Jinping telling Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday that the two countries are "sharing more common interests and concerns."
China-Japan relations have undergone turbulence but are now "back to a normal track," Xi told Abe during the first formal visit to Beijing by a Japanese leader in nearly seven years.
Japanese PM Abe to visit China in sign of improved relations
BEIJING (AP) — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is to travel to China later this month for his first formal visit in seven years, in a further sign of improving relations between the regional rivals.
Bilateral ties nosedived in 2012 after Japan nationalized a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea claimed by Beijing, setting off violent protests in China.
Australia assigns warship to enforce North Korean sanctions
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia has assigned a guided missile frigate to the East China Sea to boast international efforts to enforce sanctions against North Korea, an Australian officer said on Friday.
Australian Defense Force Chief of Joint Operations, Air Marshall Mel Hupfeld said the warship with a crew of 230 will be supported by two Australian AP-3C Orion surveillance aircraft based in Japan.
Japan sees transfer at sea that may violate NKorea sanctions
TOKYO (AP) — Japan's military has witnessed a ship-to-ship transfer on the high seas that it "strongly suspects" violates U.N. sanctions on North Korea, in the third such incident reported by Japan in the past month.
A maritime Self-Defense Force PC-3 surveillance plane and an escort ship saw a North Korean-flagged tanker alongside a smaller ship on Feb. 16 about 250 kilometers (150 miles) off Shanghai in the East China Sea, the Foreign Ministry said late Tuesday.
China orders Muji to destroy catalog over ‘problem map’
BEIJING (AP) — The foreign ministry on Wednesday told foreign companies to "respect China's sovereignty" after Japanese retailer Muji was ordered to destroy a catalog that Beijing complained mislabeled Taiwan and omits disputed islands.
Muji joined a string of companies including hotel keeper Marriott and fashion brand Zara that Beijing has criticized this year for commercial materials that fail to reflect its territorial claims.
China planning to send robot sub to sunken ship
BEIJING (AP) — China is preparing to send a robot submarine possibly followed by divers to explore and plug holes in a sunken Iranian oil tanker whose 32 crew members are all believed to have died, the Transport Ministry said Wednesday.
No timeline was given from the deployment, although the Shanghai Maritime Search and Rescue Centre and a Hong Kong newspaper said authorities will send larger salvage vessels to support the operation.
Oil spill from sunken tanker is expanding in East China Sea
BEIJING (AP) — Several oil slicks have been found in waters around a sunken Iranian tanker ship in the East China Sea in a spill that is growing and whose potentially major impact on the marine environment is still being assessed.
East China Sea slick fire from sunken oil tanker burns out
BEIJING (AP) — The fire from a sunken Iranian tanker ship in the East China Sea has burned out, a Chinese transport ministry spokesman said Monday, although concerns remain about possible major pollution to the sea bed and surrounding waters.
The spokesman, who identified himself only by his surname, Zhao, said the fire ceased around noon. Earlier footage showed huge clouds of thick smoke rising from the oil slick.
Raw: Sunken Iranian Tanker’s Oil Burning In Sea
2 bodies recovered from burning oil tanker in East China Sea
BEIJING (AP) — Rescuers on Saturday recovered the bodies of two crew members of an Iranian oil tanker that's been on fire since colliding with a freighter last week in the East China Sea.
The bodies were found on the lifeboat deck of the Sanchi on Saturday morning, state broadcaster CCTV said. Rescuers stayed aboard less than 30 minutes but were able to recover the ship's data and video recordings, it said.
Iran firm says there may be survivors from tanker crash
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The Iranian company whose oil tanker burst into flames after a collision in the East China Sea says there is still hope of finding survivors as 31 crew members remain missing and rescue efforts continued Wednesday.
As the stricken Sanchin still lists after colliding with the Hong Kong-registered freighter CF Crystal late Saturday, a spokesman for National Iranian Tanker Co. told The Associated Press in Tehran that rescuers "likely" will find survivors.
Iran firm says there may be survivors from tanker crash
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The Iranian company whose oil tanker burst into flames after a collision in the East China Sea says there is still hope of finding survivors.
Mohsen Bahrami, a spokesman for National Iranian Tanker Co., said Tuesday that rescuers would "likely" find survivors as "the engine room is not directly affected by the fire and is about 14 meters (yards) under water." He added: "There is still hope."
The body of one of the 32 crewmen has been recovered, while the other 31 are missing.
China: Body found, tanker still on fire after sea collision
BEIJING (AP) — Rescuers have found a body believed to be of a sailor from the Iranian oil tanker set ablaze after a collision in the East China Sea, China's Ministry of Transportation said Tuesday, as the search continued for another 31 missing from the same ship.
Oil tanker burning off China’s coast at risk of exploding
BEIJING (AP) — An oil tanker that caught fire after colliding with a freighter off China's east coast is at risk of exploding and sinking, Chinese state media reported Monday, as authorities from three countries struggled to find its 32 missing crew members and contain oil spewing from the blazing wreck.
Raw: Iranian Tanker Burning in East China Sea
32 missing, oil tanker on fire after collision off China
BEIJING (AP) — An Iranian oil tanker collided with a bulk freighter and caught fire off China's east coast, leaving the tanker's entire crew of 32 missing and causing it to spill oil into the sea, authorities said Sunday.
Chinese authorities dispatched police vessels and three cleaning ships to the scene after the collision, which happened late Saturday. The South Korean coast guard also sent a ship and a plane to help search for the missing crew members — 30 Iranians and two Bangladeshis.
South Korea holds Hong Kong ship over North Korean oil
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea said Friday that it was holding a Hong Kong-flagged ship and its crew members for allegedly violating U.N. sanctions by transferring oil to a North Korean vessel in October.
Pentagon cites unsafe Chinese intercept of US plane
WASHINGTON (AP) — The pilot of a U.S. Navy EP-3 surveillance plane took evasive action to avoid possible collision with a Chinese fighter jet during an encounter off the Korean peninsula, a Pentagon spokesman said Monday.
The spokesman, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, said two Chinese J-10 fighters intercepted the U.S. plane Sunday in international airspace between the East China Sea and the Yellow Sea, in an area he described as west of the Korean peninsula.
BEIJING (AP) — China denied U.S. accusations that its jets conducted an unprofessional intercept of an American radiation-sniffing surveillance plane in the East China Sea and urged Washington to stop such activities.
The two Chinese SU-30 jets on Wednesday approached a WC-135 Constant Phoenix aircraft — a modified Boeing C-135 — conducting a routine mission in international airspace in accordance with international law, Pacific Air Forces spokeswoman Lt. Col. Lori Hodge said in a statement.
LUCCA, Italy (AP) — The Latest on Group of Seven meeting of foreign ministers from industrialized nations (all times local):
Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano told his Japanese counterpart on the sidelines of the Group of Seven foreign ministers meeting that the international community was united in its will to pressure North Korea to halt its ballistic missile tests.
The Latest: Trump says US committed to security of Japan
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Washington and meeting with President Donald Trump (all times local):
President Donald Trump says the U.S. is committed to the security of Japan and all areas under its administrative control.
China criticizes Mattis’ remarks on East China Sea island
BEIJING (AP) — The U.S. is putting regional stability in East Asia at risk, a Chinese spokesman said, following remarks by President Donald Trump's defense secretary that a U.S. commitment to defend Japanese territory applies to an island group that China claims.
In Hanoi, Abe says Japan will provide Vietnam patrol vessels
HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Japan will provide Vietnam new patrol vessels, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday on the last stop of his four-nation tour to boost his country's trade and security engagements in Asia amid China's rising dominance.
Japan denies Chinese claim of dangerous fighter-jet conduct
TOKYO (AP) — Japan protested to China on Monday about what it says are groundless accusations that Japanese fighter jets had fired "jamming shells" as six Chinese military planes flew over waters between Japan's southern Okinawa and Miyako islands.
"It is extremely regrettable that the Chinese military is making announcements that are clearly factually wrong," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters. "It also hurts the effort to improve our relations, so we lodged a strong protest."
Amid tensions, Japan navy chief wants exchanges with China
WASHINGTON (AP) — Japan's top naval officer said Monday he is open to resuming engagement with China's navy despite strong concerns about Chinese activities near disputed islands in the East China Sea.
Adm. Tomohisa Takei said that personnel exchanges and port visits between Japan's maritime self-defense force and China's navy were suspended several years ago and should be restarted to improve relations.
"Our door is open," Takei told the National Bureau of Asian Research, a Washington think tank.
Japan vows to watch Chinese warplane activity closely
TOKYO (AP) — Japan's top government spokesman warned China on Monday against expanding its military activity to the skies over disputed East China Sea islands after eight Chinese warplanes flew near the area over the weekend.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that Japan scrambled at least one fighter jet after the planes passed over the Miyako Strait on Sunday, east of the Japanese-controlled Senkaku islands, which China also claims and calls the Diaoyu.
Japanese Defense Ministry seeks record $51 billion budget
TOKYO (AP) — Japan's Defense Ministry is seeking a record-high 5.17 trillion yen ($51 billion) budget for the 2017 fiscal year to bolster missile defense capability amid an escalating North Korean threat and better protect disputed islands also claimed by China in the East China Sea.
If approved by parliament, the budget request submitted Wednesday would be the fifth annual increase under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who ended a decade of defense budget cuts.
Japan searches for 8 Chinese missing off disputed islands
TOKYO (AP) — Japan is searching for eight Chinese crewmembers missing after their fishing boat collided with a cargo ship off disputed islands in the East China Sea.
The Japan Coast Guard's search Friday came one day after six other crewmembers were rescued. The Chinese boat apparently sank after colliding with a Greek-flagged ship Thursday off the Japan-controlled Senkaku islands, which China also claims.
The collision occurred as hundreds of Chinese fishing...
TOKYO (AP) — Japan's foreign minister summoned China's ambassador Tuesday and lodged a protest over the increased number of Chinese vessels in waters near disputed islands in the East China Sea.
The move by Fumio Kishida comes as the number of Chinese coast guard ships around the islands has nearly quadrupled over the past few days to as many as 13, a record number since China started sending ships to the region in September 2012 after Japan nationalized the islands'...
Japan protests China’s vessels around disputed islands
TOKYO (AP) — Japan summoned Chinese diplomats Saturday to protest after six Chinese coast guard vessels approached disputed East China Sea islands accompanying a fleet of hundreds of Chinese fishing boats.
Japan's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it filed the protest after the Japanese coast guard spotted the vessels Saturday along with a fleet of 230 Chinese fishing boats swarming around the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands. China also claims the islands,...
China holds live-fire navy drills in East China Sea
BEIJING (AP) — China's navy has fired dozens of missiles and torpedoes during exercises in the East China Sea that come amid heightened maritime tensions in the region, underscoring Beijing's determination to back up its sovereignty claims with force if needed.
The live-fire drills that began Monday follow China's strident rejection of an international arbitration panel's ruling last month that invalidated Beijing's claims to a vast swath of the South China...