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Boat with island activists turns back to Taiwan: Coastguard

Published on Jan 24, 2013 2:19 PM
This handout picture taken and released by Japan Coast Guard on Jan 24, 2013 shows a Taiwanese boat carrying Taiwanese activists on board cruising in waters near the disputed islands known as Senkaku islands in Japan and Diaoyu islands in China, in the East China Sea. A boatload of Taiwanese activists protected by the island's coastguard was on Jan 24 heading for Japanese-held islands at the centre of a bitter international wrangle involving Tokyo, Beijing and Taipei. -- PHOTO: AFP

TAIPEI (AFP) - A boat carrying a group of Taiwanese activists heading for disputed Japanese-controlled islands turned back today before reaching their destination, Taiwan's coastguard said.

The vessel turned back at 11am and was expected to arrive back at its north Taiwanese port a little more than seven hours later, a coastguard spokesman said.

Japan’s coastguard said it fired water cannon at the boat.

“After entering our country’s contiguous zone, the vessel with foreign activists on board continued sailing east. So our patrol boat carried out restrictions on the vessel such as blocking its path and discharging water,” it said in a statement.

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