China flotilla in Japan dispute island waters
TOKYO (AFP) - Seven Chinese ships were in waters around islands at the centre of a bitter dispute with Japan on Tuesday, the day before the anniversary of Tokyo's nationalisation of part of the chain.
The Chinese coastguard flotilla is the biggest seen in waters around the Tokyo-administered Senkakus since eight government ships were tracked there in April, a spokesman for the Japanese coastguard said.
Official media in China, citing the State Oceanic Administration (SOA), said it was the 59th "patrol" of the area since Sept 2012, when Tokyo took the islands into public ownership.
Beijing claims the archipelago as its own and calls the islands the Diaoyus.