Chinese vessels approach Diaoyutai islands: Japanese Coast Guard

Four Chinese Coast Guard ships came within 35km of the disputed island chain on Saturday morning

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A Japanese Coast Guard vessel near the largest island in the Diaoyutai chain

A Japanese Coast Guard vessel near the largest island in the Diaoyutai chain (By Wikimedia Commons)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) –- The Japanese coast guard announced on the morning of Saturday, Sept. 22 that four Chinese naval vessels were sailing near the Diaoyutai Islands.

At approximately 8:00 a.m. Taiwan time, four Chinese coast guard ships were reportedly sailing around the islands, which are controlled by Japan, but claimed by China as well as Taiwan.

Vessels were reported simultaneously to the northeast of the Diaoyutai islands, which Japan refers to as the Senkaku Islands, at a distance of about 32 kilometers from shore according to an NHK report.

The Coast Guard and Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force are reportedly monitoring the movements of the Chinese vessels, and are prepared to issue a warning if they approach too near to the islands.

Twelve nautical miles from shore is the internationally recognized distance demarcating an offshore territorial zone.