Japanese nationalists set sail for disputed islands: AFP
ISHIGAKI, Japan (AFP) - A flotilla of boats carrying Japanese nationalists, including parliamentarians, set sail on Saturday for islands at the heart of a bitter dispute with China, an AFP reporter said.
The 20 vessels left the south-western Japanese island of Ishigaki at 8.30pm (7.30pm Singapore time), an AFP journalist on board one of the boats reported, despite anger from Beijing.
The fleet, carrying around 150 people, was expected to arrive at the archipelago, known as Senkaku in Japan and as Diaoyu in China, around sunrise (5.30am on Sunday, Singapore time).
"Fortunately, the international community generally recognises that the Senkaku Islands are Japanese, but I think this kind of expedition will help raise awareness around the world," parliamentarian Keiko Yamatani told AFP.