A picture made available on 10 April 2013 shows a Japan Coast Guard ship (C-L) sprays water on a Taiwan Coast guard ship (R) on 25 September 2012, as 58 Taiwan fishing boats and 12 Taiwan coast guard shps sailed to Diaoyu Islands to assert Taiwan's claim to Diaoyu Islands and fishing rights in Diaoyu Island waters. EPA/STR

China says it drove away Japanese fishing boat from disputed islands

Beijing, July 14 (EFE).- China says it forced a Japanese fishing boat to leave the waters surrounding disputed islands in the East China Sea, in the latest indication of ongoing tensions between the two countries.

Gan Yu, a spokesperson for the Chinese coast guard, said Chinese vessels warned the Japanese boat, Zuiho Maru, to depart from the waters near the Diaoyu Islands, known as Senkaku in Japan.

The archipelago is a subject of intense dispute between Japan and China, despite Japan exercising control over it.

Gan Yu said the Japanese vessel violated Chinese sovereignty by entering the territorial waters of Chiwei Island, a small islet within the chain of islands comprising the archipelago.

“Chinese Coast Guard vessels took necessary control measures in accordance with the law and issued a warning to depart,” stated Gan in a press release.

“The Diaoyu Islands and its affiliated islands are an integral part of China’s territory, and the Chinese Coast Guard vessels are conducting maritime law enforcement activities within their jurisdiction, as prescribed by the law.”

The coast guard called on the Japanese side to “immediately cease all illegal activities in the area and ensure that similar incidents do not recur.”

Last year, Japan criticized China for its increased naval maneuvers around the uninhabited archipelago.

The sovereignty of the archipelago remains one of the primary causes of tense relations between the two countries. EFE