Chinese Ships Enter Disputed Waters

    Image #: 19497447    YORON, Japan - Photo taken from a Kyodo News plane shows a Chinese marine surveillance vessel (front) and a Japan Coast Guard patrol ship near the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, on Sept. 24, 2012. Three Chinese vessels intruded into Japanese waters near the Senkakus for the first since Sept. 18, according to the Japan Coast Guard.      Kyodo /Landov

    Kyodo / Landov

    Chinese ships on Monday entered waters at the center of a heated territory dispute with Japan. The move prompted an official protest from Japan as the two countries continue to duke it out over a clutch of mostly uninhabited islands in the East China Sea. Two of the Chinese ships were civilian vessels on a “rights defense” tour, according to Chinese media. Tensions came to a head earlier this month after Japan purchased the islands outright, a decision met with protests across China. “In recent days, Japan has constantly provoked incidents concerning the Diaoyu islands issue, gravely violating China’s territorial sovereignty,” Chinese media said Monday.

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