The Straits Times
Published on Oct 20, 2012

5 Chinese ships spotted close to disputed Tokyo-controlled islands


TOKYO (AFP) - Five Chinese government ships were seen sailing close to Tokyo-controlled islands in the East China Sea on Saturday, prodding Japanese patrol boats to chase them away from the disputed chain.

It was the first time in 10 days that state-owned Chinese ships were spotted near the islands as bad weather had prevailed due to a powerful typhoon passing through.

Japan's coastguard said its patrol boats were warning the Chinese vessels "not to violate territorial waters" and keeping them under surveillance off the island chain, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.

Despite the warnings, one of the surveillance ships responded by radio in Chinese,