- Title: JAPAN: Chinese ship enters waters near disputed islands.
- Date: 18th September 2012
- Summary: AT SEA (FILE - SEPTEMBER 2012) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF DISPUTED SENKAKU/DIAOYU ISLANDS
- Embargoed: 3rd October 2012 13:00
- Location: Japan
- Country: Japan
- Topics: International Relations,Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA8LBTDMD5P47YIGJY6UQOMQMP5
- Story Text: A Chinese surveillance vessel approached waters around a group of disputed islets in the East China Sea, while two Japanese nationals landed on one island, Japan said on Tuesday (September 18).
"We have confirmed that at 6.50 am today a Chinese fishery surveillance ship entered the contiguous zone just outside our territorial waters near Uotsuri Island of the Senkaku Islands," Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura told reporters in Tokyo.
After broadcasting a radio message declaring the waters to be Chinese territory, the vessel left the narrow zone just outside waters Japan claims as sovereign territory at around 1030 local time (0130 GMT), the Japan Coast Guard said.
Tensions are high around the islets, known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan, on the anniversary of Japan's 1931 occupation of parts of mainland China.
A flotilla of around 1,000 Chinese fishing boats were reported by Chinese and Japanese media to be converging on the area, raising the risk that an accident could worsen the situation.
But Fujimura said there was so far no sign of their arrival.
"Regarding the fishing boats, we haven't received any reports that a large number of fishing boats have entered the contiguous zone just outside our territorial waters," he said.
Japan also confirmed two unidentified Japanese citizens had landed on one of the disputed islands on Tuesday.
"We got a report that two Japanese men landed on Uotsuri Island at around 9:30 a.m. today, and the Coast Guard has already evacuated them from the island while warning other fishermen in the area," Fujimura said.
Hundreds of Japanese businesses and the country's embassy have suspended services in China, expecting further escalation in violent protests over the territorial dispute between Asia's two biggest economies.
"I believe the Chinese government should handle this issue with care -- as Japanese companies are important to the Chinese economy in terms of employment," Fujimura said.
China's worst outbreak of anti-Japan sentiment in decades led to protests and attacks on Japanese companies such as car makers Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor Co, forcing them to halt operations and prompting Chinese state media to warn that trade relations could deteriorate.
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