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Japan summons China envoy in East China Sea island row

Published on Feb 5, 2013 11:04 AM
This handout picture taken by the Japan Coast Guard on Monday shows a Chinese marine surveillance ship (left) alongside a Japan Coast Guard ship near the disputed islets known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and Diaoyu islands in China, in the East China Sea. Two Chinese government ships on Monday entered waters around the Tokyo-controlled islands that Beijing claims as it own. Beijing has repeatedly sent ships to the area since Japan nationalised some islands in the chain in September. -- PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (AFP) - Tokyo summoned China's envoy on Tuesday in protest after what it says was another incursion into its territorial waters around islands at the centre of a bitter dispute with Beijing.

"The foreign ministry summoned the Chinese ambassador over ships entering the waters near Senkaku islands," said a foreign ministry official, referring to a chain claimed as the Diaoyus by Beijing.

The move comes after Chinese state vessels spent much of Monday in waters around the islands and as the two sides show no sign of backing down in a dispute that has badly affected trade between Asia's two largest economies.

Two maritime surveillance boats arrived in the area shortly before 9:30 am local time, the Japanese coastguard said, with Kyodo News reporting they had remained there for around 14 hours.

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