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Six Chinese ships enter waters off Diaoyutais: Japanese media

ROC Central News Agency

2012/10/30 19:42:17

Tokyo, Oct. 30 (CNA) Six Chinese ships entered waters off the Diaoyutai Islands in the East China Sea on Tuesday, marking the fifth time this month that Chinese vessels have sailed into the disputed area, Japanese media reported Tuesday.

Four Chinese marine surveillance ships and two Chinese fishing boats have entered "Japan's territorial waters" near the island group around 11 a.m. Tuesday, the Asahi Shimbun said.

One of the Chinese ships put up a message in Chinese and Japanese on an electronic board telling a Japanese patrol vessel to "immediately leave" the area as it had "entered China's territorial waters," according to the Japanese daily.

It is the eighth such action by Chinese vessels since Sept. 11, when Tokyo purchased three of the islands from private owners. The last time was on Oct. 28.

Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it has protested the action to China's embassy in Japan.

China's State Oceanic Administration confirmed Tuesday that four of its surveillance ships had entered the disputed territorial waters on a "regular cruise to safeguard China's maritime rights."

The Chinese administration also said it had "solemnly claimed China's sovereignty rights and expelled Japanese ships from the area."

The island chain has been under Japan's control since 1972, but is also claimed by Taiwan and China.

(By Tsao Heng, Chiu Kuo-chiang and Ann Chen)

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