World Bulletin / News Desk
Japan’s coast guard said Saturday that four Chinese ships were spotted near disputed islands in the East China Sea, a move that has previously drawn protests from Tokyo.
Local news agency Kyodo reported that the Chinese coast guard vessels were seen in the morning in waters claimed as Japanese territory, in a sighting that came after a previous “intrusion” Sunday.
The Senkakus -- which Beijing calls the Diaoyu Islands -- are a group of uninhabited islets currently controlled by Japan.
High-level dialogue between China and Japan was suspended for two years prior to a meeting in November 2014 between leaders due to tension following the Japanese government’s purchase of three of the disputed islands in September 2012.
In August, Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida summoned the Chinese ambassador to demand that Beijing promptly withdraw its vessels from waters around the islands.
The move came after Japan's coast guard was reported as saying that at one point it had spotted 13 Chinese government vessels in the contiguous zone just beyond Japanese waters around the Senkakus, and 15 such vessels were reported to have sailed in the zone.
Around 230 Chinese fishing boats were reported to have been spotted in the zone two days earlier, along with Chinese government vessels.