The Straits Times
Published on Dec 21, 2012

China ships in disputed waters, first since Japanese poll



Chinese state-owned ships entered territorial waters around disputed islands, Japan's Coast Guard said on Friday, in the first intrusion since a new government was elected in Tokyo.

The move is a setback to hopes in Japan that Beijing may use the poll as a chance for a fresh start after months of bitter wrangling and rhetoric over an issue that neither side is prepared to budge on.

"Three Chinese surveillance ships entered the territorial waters near Kubajima," said a Japanese Coast Guard official, referring to one of the islands in the Senkaku chain, known as Diaoyu in China.