China ships enter disputed waters: Japan coast guard
TOKYO (AFP) - Chinese coast guard ships on Friday sailed into disputed waters at the centre of a bitter row with Tokyo, officials said, a day after China blasted Japanese lawmakers for visiting a controversial war shrine.
The four government vessels spent about two hours within the 12-nautical-mile band around the Tokyo-controlled Senkaku islands - which Beijing calls the Diaoyu islands - in the East China Sea.
Japan's coast guard said the vessels had left territorial waters by 12:30 pm local time but remained in the area.
Following the incursion, Mr Junichi Ihara, head of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, lodged a protest with a senior diplomat at the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo, Kyodo News agency reported.