Shortly after the missiles landed, Tokyo issued a formal protest to China and called on it to immediately stop its military exercises near Taiwan, Japan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Speaking to reporters, Japan’s defense minister, Nobuo Kishi, called the incident “a grave issue that concerns our national security and the safety of the people.”
Earlier on Thursday, before the missiles were fired, Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, had told reporters that Beijing did not recognize Japan’s economic zone, where the missiles landed.
China also called off a meeting between its foreign minister, Wang Yi, and his Japanese counterpart, Yoshimasa Hayashi, after the Group of 7 industrialized nations issued a statement expressing concern about Beijing’s “threatening actions” around Taiwan.
The missile incident is in some ways a familiar routine for Japan, which has seen 10 North Korean ballistic missiles land in its economic zone since 2016. In the short term, according to Ms. Tatsumi, the analyst, Japan’s response to Beijing is likely to follow the same playbook as with Pyongyang: diplomatic protests and more vigilance.
“Japan definitely does not want to be blamed by China for quote unquote overreacting,” she said, “so they won’t counter with anything physical, but their monitoring will ramp up.”