Beijing, officials said.urged Chinese to leave waters near disputed islands in the on Monday, and the government lodged a protest with
The two maritime survey ships entered waters surrounding the Japan-held islands, known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China, earlier in the day, the coast guard said.
“Despite repeated warnings issued by radio from our patrol boat, the Chinese ships are still within our waters,” said coast guard official Kazuya Ono.
Japan also lodged a protest with China over the entry, but Beijing responded by saying it was checking facts, a Japanese Foreign Ministry official said on condition of anonymity, citing protocol.
The islands are held by Japan but claimed by China and Taiwan, and the is one of many that have strained ties between and Beijing.
It was unclear what the Chinese ships were doing in the waters, which Japan watches closely for intrusions by outside ships.
In June, a Taiwanese fishing boat sank near the islands after a collision with a Japanese coast guard ship. Taiwan accused the Japanese of ramming the boat; Japan contended the Taiwanese captain was responsible for the collision.
Japanese authorities recently agreed to give the New Taiwan dollars ($300,000) in compensation.‘s owner 10 million
Japan annexed the island chain in 1895, saying no nation exercised a formal claim over them. The islands, lying roughly midway between Okinawa and Taiwan, were administered by the United States after World War II until they were returned to Tokyo in 1972.
China says the islands have been part of its territory since ancient times.
By SHINO YUASA, Associated Press Writer
China has been aggressively researching the world’s oceans for exploitable oil. Vietnam routinely protests China’s
presence near the Spratly Islands.