Chinese Boats Increase Tensions with Japan in East China Sea Dispute
Created: 2012-07-11 11:14 EST
Japan protested to the Chinese ambassador, after three Chinese patrol boats entered waters near the disputed Senkaku (or Diaoyu) Islands on Wednesday.
[Osamu Fujimura, Chief Cabinet Secretary]:
"While the Coast Guard was operating in the area, three Chinese fishery patrol ships entered the territory around the islands. The Coast Guard vessels asked for their immediate withdrawal from territorial waters."
One Chinese vessel left the area. Two vessels are being closely monitored by Japanese patrol ships.
These islands in the East China Sea are rich in natural resources and are controlled by Japan, but the Chinese regime and Taiwan also lay claim to them.
[Liu Weimin, Spokesman, Chinese Foreign Ministry]:
"The Diaoyu islands and surrounding waters have been Chinese territory since ancient times ... China does not accept the representations lodged by the Japanese side."
Foreign Ministers attending the ASEAN summit in Cambodia held talks today about the dispute.
Japanese businessman Kuniki Kurihara owns three of the islands, and rents them to the Japanese government.
He is keen to sell them, and has been in talks with the Japanese Government. The Japanese Prime Minister said on Saturday that the central government is interested in buying them.
Two years ago a Chinese fishing boat collided with two Japanese patrol boats near the disputed islands, and the Chinese captain was arrested.
This further increased tensions between the two countries.