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Taiwan ship nears disputed isles: Japan coastguard

Published on Sep 21, 2012 5:29 PM
This handout picture, taken by the Japan Coast Guard on Sept 21, 2012 shows a Taiwanese protest ship cruising near the Senkaku islands as known in Japanese or Diaoyu in Chinese in the East China Sea. -- PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (AFP) - A protest ship from Taiwan joined around a dozen state-owned Chinese vessels in waters near Japan-administered islands on Friday as a territorial row rumbled on.

The Taiwan-registered ship was spotted 44km off Uotsurijima, the largest island in a group known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.

Japan controls the islands though China and Taiwan also claim ownership.

"This ship is not a government-owned vessel. By speakers and wireless communications we are warning the ship not to enter our territorial waters," a spokesman for the coastguard's Okinawa branch said by telephone.

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