Kiyoshi Takenaka and Antoni Slodkowski
Sept 24, 2012
Three Chinese ships briefly entered what Japan considers its territorial waters near disputed islands in the East China Sea on Monday, prompting an official protest from Tokyo and renewed diplomatic efforts to cool tensions between the rivals.
In a move that could further complicate the territorial row that is threatening relations between Asia’s biggest economies, a group of fishermen from Taiwan — which also claims the rocky isles — said as many as 100 boats escorted by 10 Taiwan Coast Guard vessels would arrive in the area later on Monday.
China’s Xinhua news agency said in the morning that two civilian surveillance ships were undertaking a “rights defence” patrol near the islands, citing the State Oceanic Administration, which controls the ships. One fishery patrol vessel was also detected inside waters claimed by Japan.
Japan lodged an official protest.