Chinese ships approach islets disputed with Japan

Japan lodged a protest with China Wednesday after four Chinese coast guard vessels entered what Tokyo regards as its territorial waters near a group of disputed islets in the East China Sea, Japanese authorities said.

Japan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement it had told the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo that the ships’activities were in violation of Japanese sovereignty and unacceptable.

The Japan Coast Guard urged the Chinese vessels to leave the area near the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands.

The uninhabited islets are also claimed by China and Taiwan, where they are called Diaoyu and Tiaoyutai respectively.

Wednesday’s sighting of the Chinese ships comes less than a week after the Japan Coast Guard rescued six Chinese crew members whose fishing boat collided with a Greek cargo ship near the islets.

Up to 15 Chinese coast guard ships as well as about 200 Chinese fishing boats were spotted near the Senkaku Islands earlier this month, which prompted Tokyo to lodge a protest with Beijing several times.

Meanwhile, the foreign ministers of China, Japan and South Korea are scheduled to hold talks next week in Tokyo ahead of a Group of 20 meeting to be held in the Chinese city of Hangzhou in September, Kyodo News agency reported, citing unnamed government sources.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is seeking to hold a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G-20 conference.

Last update: Wed, 17/08/2016 - 12:41

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