Beijing: The Sino-Japanese row over the disputed islands in the East China Sea is set to escalate with Beijing on Sunday allowing its fishermen to operate in the waters under the protection of Chinese Maritime Surveillance Vessels.
Chinese fishermen have been fishing for ages around the Diaoyu islands and they have a right to carry on with their work, state-run CCTV reported quoting the Chinese Agricultural Ministry.
The islands, called as Diaoyu islands by China and Senkaku by Japan, are heavily protected by Japanese Coast Guard and claimed by both the nations.
The two countries had a major diplomatic row on 2010 when Japan prosecuted a skipper of Chinese fishing vessel who was subsequently released after weeks of diplomatic wrangling.
The new move by China to permit fishing in the disputed waters came as it deployed six maritime ships to patrol the area after Japan bought the islands from private owners to secure its hold on them.
Analysts say any large fishing expeditions from China could set off confrontation between Chinese and Japanese maritime fleet.
Meanwhile, the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) has released a string of geographic information of Diaoyu Island and some of its affiliated islets to reaffirm China's sovereignty, while Chinese surveillance ships began patrolling the waters around the islands challenging the Japanese Coast Guard.
The SOA announcement details the exact longitude and latitude of the Diaoyu Island and 70 of its affiliated islets while publishes location maps, three-dimension effect graphs and sketch maps for the Diaoyu Islands.
First Published: Sunday, September 16, 2012, 21:26