Possibly armed Chinese vessel enter disputed waters near Diaoyu islands: Report

A Chinese Coast Guard ship is seen near the disputed islets known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and Diaoyu islands in China, in a photo handed out on Dec 22, 2015.
A Chinese Coast Guard ship is seen near the disputed islets known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and Diaoyu islands in China, in a photo handed out on Dec 22, 2015.PHOTO: AFP/JAPAN COAST GUARD

TAIPEI - Four vessels operated by China's coast guard, including one possibly equipped with gun turrets, reportedly entered waters around the disputed Diaoyu islands on Sunday (Jan 3), Taiwan's Central News Agency reported.

Japanese coast guard said its vessel warned the approaching Chinese ships not to move closer to Japan's waters, CNA reported, citing Japan's Kyodo News.

One of the Chinese vessels appeared to be equipped with gun turrets, the report said, adding details on the ships' identification numbers.

Japan has administered the strategic, uninhabited islands, known as Senkaku in Japanese , since they were handed over by the US in 1972 as part of programme to return territory held after Japan's defeat in World War II. China also claims sovereignty over the islands.

Chinese Coast Guard ships were also spotted in the area on Dec 26, according to the Kyodo News report.