The Diaoyu Islands are a group of uninhabited islands located roughly due east of mainland China, northeast of Taiwan, west of Okinawa Island, and north of the southwestern end of the Ryukyu Islands. They are currently controlled by Japan, which calls them Senkaku Islands. Both China and Taiwan claim sovereignty over the islands.
Chinese ships enter territorial waters, says Japan coastguard
Agence France-Presse in Tokyo
Three Chinese government ships sailed into the waters of disputed Tokyo-controlled islands on Sunday, Japan’s coastguard said.
The maritime surveillance ships entered the 12-nautical-mile zone off the islands, which China calls the Diaoyu and the Japan calls the Senkaku, at around 11am (0200 GMT).
Chinese government ships have frequently sailed around the five islands in recent months, sparking diplomatic clashes with Japan.
In late April, eight Chinese government vessels sailed into the disputed waters, the biggest flotilla in a single day since Tokyo nationalised part of the island chain in September.
The move sparked an angry response, with Japanese premier Shinzo Abe vowing to “expel by force” any Chinese landing on the archipelago, which is believed to harbour vast natural resources below its seabed.