The Straits Times
Published on Feb 18, 2013

China ships in disputed waters: Japan coastguard


TOKYO (AFP) - Chinese government ships were in waters around disputed East China Sea islands on Monday, Japan's coastguard said, as a senior Japanese diplomat prepared for meetings in Beijing aimed at mending frayed ties.

Three state-run Maritime Surveillance vessels were clocked in seas off the Tokyo-controlled Senkaku Islands, which Beijing calls the Diaoyu islands and claims as its own, around 0000 GMT (8am Singapore time), the coastguard said.

Japan had made a formal protest to China about what it believes is an incursion into its sovereign waters, Kyodo News Agency reported.

It was the latest in a series of incidents at sea that have also included confrontations between warships, with Japan claiming Chinese vessels locked their weapons-targeting radar onto a ship and a helicopter.