Chinese ships enter disputed island area

By VIRGINIA DANIELLE HAYNES   |   Jan. 7, 2013 at 8:49 AM

TOKYO, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- Four Chinese ships entered Japanese territorial waters near the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea Monday, the Japanese Coast Guard said.

The ships were observed sailing around the island chain for the first time since a similar incident Dec. 31, Japan's Kyodo News reported.

The Chinese State Oceanic Administration said the vessels are marine surveillance ships meant to patrol the waters around the islands, which the Chinese call Diaoyu, Xinhua reported.

Officials at the Regional Coast Guard Headquarters in Naha, Okinawa, said the Japanese Coast Guard asked the four ships to leave the area.

Tensions between Japan and China over competing claims to the islands have worsened since September when the Japanese government announced the nationalization of the islands.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy drops bid for speaker
WikiLeaks offering $50K for video of Afghan hospital bombing
Murdoch sorry for implying Obama's not a 'real black president'
Reid sues exercise companies over eye injury
Lumber Liquidators to pay $10M in DOJ settlement