Japan coast guard says Chinese vessels sail near disputed East China Sea islands

A Japan Coast Guard spokesman said this is the 21st day that Chinese boats have entered its waters since late August. PHOTO: JCG_KOHO/TWITTER

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan's Coast Guard said on Sunday (Oct 11) that two Chinese vessels entered what Japan considers its territorial waters near disputed islands in the East China Sea.

It marked the 21st time this year Chinese boats have entered waters since late August, a Japanese Coast Guard representative said.

Japan's government has complained of "relentless" intrusions in waters around the group of islets claimed by both nations.

The contested territory contains islands known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China.

Two Chinese Coast Guard ships entered the waters at about 10.45am (11.45am Singapore time) on Sunday and approached a Japanese fishing boat, the Kyodo news agency said.

The Japanese Coast Guard deployed patrol boats to the area, Kyodo said.

China's foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment. The defence ministry could not immediately be reached.

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