NAHA, Okinawa Pref.: Four Chinese coast guard ships tried to approach a Japanese-registered private vessel in Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea on Monday.
Japan Coast Guard patrol ships secured the safety of the 997-ton Shinsei Maru and warned the Chinese ships to leave the waters.
The intrusion by Chinese government ships into Japanese waters around the Senkaku chain was the second this year following one on Jan. 10. The Japanese-administered islands in Okinawa Prefecture are claimed by China, which calls them Diaoyu.
According to the JCG, the four Haijing ships entered Japanese waters between around 2:45 a.m. (5:45 p.m. Sunday GMT) and 6:05 a.m. and tried to approach the Shinsei Maru and three fishing boats. The Chinese ships left the area between around 12:35 p.m. and 1:50 p.m.
The city government of Ishigaki in Okinawa has rented the Shinsei Maru for marine research activities around the Senkakus.