TOKYO, July 12 (UPI) -- Three Chinese fishery patrol boats entered Japanese territorial waters near the Senkaku Islands, the Japanese Coast Guard said Wednesday.
A Japanese Coast Guard boat spotted the Chinese boats between 4:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. about 13 miles west-northwest of Kubashima island, The Yomiuri Shimbun reported.
Responding to radio warnings, the Chinese boats said they were in China's territorial waters and told the Japanese Coast Guard to leave the waters, The Yomiuri Shimbun said.
The Japanese government announced plans this month to purchase three of the Senkaku Islands that are owned by a civilian.
Kenichiro Sasae, Japan's vice minister for foreign affairs, met Wednesday with Chinese Ambassador to Japan Cheng Yonghua at the Japanese Foreign Ministry to protest.
Sasae told the ambassador: "We can't regard [the intrusion] as innocent passage allowed under international laws, and our country won't tolerate it. We strongly protest and strongly demand measures to prevent a recurrence."
Chinese vessels had entered the disputed waters in March.
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