Japanese Coast Guard spots Chinese vessels near disputed islands

TOKYO | Sat Nov 27, 2010 8:40pm EST

TOKYO (Reuters) – The Japanese coast guard has spotted two Chinese vessels attempting on Sunday to enter waters near islands in the East China Sea that are disputed by the two countries, Kyodo News reported.

Two Chinese fishing patrol ships were sighted around 7:45 a.m. on Sunday (6:45 p.m. EST on Saturday) repeatedly trying to enter waters 44 kilometers off a group of islands known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, Kyodo reported, citing the Japanese coast guard.

Relations between Asia’s two biggest economies soured in September after Japan detained a Chinese skipper whose fishing boat collided with Japanese patrol vessels off the disputed islands, which are near potentially rich maritime gas reserves. He was later released.

(Reporting by Stanley White; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

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