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Three Chinese ships in disputed island waters: Japan

Published on Jan 30, 2013 1:07 PM
Customers buy fish caught by Zhejiang fishermen in waters near disputed islands, known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan, in the East China Sea during a food exhibition in Shanghai, Jan 26, 2013. The Chinese characters on the poster in the background read "Fishes from Diaoyu islands arrive in Shanghai". -- PHOTOS: REUTERS

TOKYO (AFP) - Three Chinese government ships were in waters around islands at the centre of a dispute with Tokyo on Wednesday, a day after Japan's premier suggested a summit could help mend frayed ties.

Japan's coastguard said the maritime surveillance boats entered waters around a chain of Tokyo-controlled islands known as the Senkakus in Japan, which Beijing calls the Diaoyus, at around noon.

China has repeatedly sent ships to the area since Japan nationalised some of the chain in September, a move that triggered a diplomatic dispute and huge anti-Japan demonstrations across China.

Beijing has also sent air patrols to the archipelago in the East China Sea, and recently both Beijing and Tokyo have scrambled fighter jets, though there have been no clashes.

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