An image released on August 20, 2012 by Japan's Sakura channel shows a Japanese flag placed by far-right group Ganbare Nippon on a rocky area of one of the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. EFE-EPA FILE/Stringer/USE PROHIBITED IN CHINA AND JAPAN

China denounces incursion by Japanese ships in waters around disputed islands

Beijing, Nov 1 (EFE).- China on Wednesday condemned the “illegal” entry of three Japanese ships and several patrol vessels into the territorial waters of the Diaoyu Islands, known as Senkaku in Japan, claimed by both Tokyo and Beijing.

The spokesperson for the China Coast Guard, Gan Yu, said that the Chinese ships took the “necessary control measures” following the entry of Japanese vessels into the waters, state news agency Xinhua reported.

Gan reiterated that the Diaoyu Islands and its adjacent islets are China’s “inherent” territories and that the Chinese Coast Guard conducts law enforcement activities to safeguard the sovereignty of waters under its jurisdiction.

“We urge Japan to immediately stop all illegal activities in the waters and ensure that similar incidents do not happen again,” the spokesperson said.

The conflict over the Diaoyu/Senkaku, annexed by Japan after the war with China in 1894-95, has intensified in recent years, especially after Japan nationalized three of the islands in September 2012.

Located in the East China Sea, about 150 kilometers (93 miles) northeast of Taiwan, these uninhabited islands have an area of about 7 square kilometers (2.7 square miles).

It is believed that the waters surrounding the islands could contain significant gas and oil deposits.

During the last few months, the fragile relations between China and Japan have deteriorated due to Japan’s discharge of treated water from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean.

China had been the repeatedly critical of the release of the water, which led it to impose a trade ban on Japan’s maritime products, a decision Tokyo protested at the World Trade Organization. EFE