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    China Coast Guard vessel No. 31239 sails in the East China Sea near the disputed isles known as Senkaku isles in Japan and Diaoyu islands in China, in this handout photo taken and released by the 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters-Japan Coast Guard December 22, 2015

    Chinese Ships Reportedly Enter Japanese Waters Near Disputed Senkaku Islands

    © REUTERS / Japan Coast Guard
    Asia & Pacific
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    Japan's Coast Guard claim that four China's patrol ships entered Japan's territorial waters near disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, local media reported Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The NHK news agency reported, citing the Japanese Coast Guard, that the Chinese patrol boats were spotted near the Uotsuri Jima Island, the largest island of the group, at around 10:00 a.m. local time (01:00 GMT) and stayed there for approximately an hour and a half.

    According to the news outlet, it is the 25th incident involving Chinese ships sailing into Japanese waters near the Senkaku Islands since the beginning of 2017.

    The head of the relevant department of the Japanese Foreign Ministry reportedly filed a protest to China's Embassy in Tokyo shortly after the incident.

    Chinese offshore platforms in the East China Sea (File)
    © AP Photo / Defense Ministry through the Japanese Foreign Ministry Homepage
    The tensions over the Senkaku Islands have been rising in recent months, with the parties to the conflict accusing each other of provocations. China and several US allies in the region — namely Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines — have competing claims to the maritime borders and responsibility areas in the South China and East China seas.

    Japan and China have been engaged in a territorial dispute over the uninhabited Senkaku Islands, called in Chinese the Diaoyu Islands, since the 1970s. China says that the contiguous islands have been part of its territory since ancient times. Japan argues the islands have been under its control since 1895. The islands are currently controlled by Japan. After the World War II, the United States controlled the territory and transferred it to Japan in 1972 along with the Okinawa Island.

    Related:

    US Security Obligation to Japan Includes Disputed Senkaku Islands – Obama
    Chinese Vessel Sailing in Japan’s Waters off Disputed Senkaku Islands: Reports
    US to Support Japan in Case of Any Attempts to Seize Senkaku Islands
    Tags:
    territorial claims, dispute, Japanese Foreign Ministry, East China Sea, China, Japan, Senkaku Islands
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