China’s Meteorological Administration started providing weather forecasts for islands at the center of a dispute with Japan as both sides seek to assert authority for their claims.
The move falls under the meteorological body’s responsibility to provide forecasts and alerts for China’s land and waters, according to a statement posted on the administration’s website yesterday. The islands are known as Diaoyu in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese.
The announcement comes as China sent patrol ships to the East China Sea islands yesterday after Japan announced it would buy them from a private owner for 2.05 billion yen ($26.2 million). The standoff over the territory and the resource-rich waters surrounding it has threatened to further strain ties between the world’s second and third-largest economies.
The weather reports will be broadcast after the 7 p.m. news on China Central Television, the country’s main state-run TV channel, according to the statement.
Anti-Japanese protests were reported in three Chinese cities yesterday, according to Xinhua. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a regular briefing yesterday that “Japan’s recent wrongful actions have sparked Chinese people’s strong indignation within and outside of China.”
The National People’s Congress and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference both issued statements urging Japan to “realize the danger of the current situation” and “work with China to maintain the bigger picture of China-Japan relations,” according to a front-page article in today’s People’s Daily newspaper.