Beijing: In what may exacerbate the furore over disputed islands, Taiwanese fishing vessels about 50 in number, accompanied by 10 Taiwanese surveillance ships entered waters near the disputed territory in East China Sea, Japan coastguard said on Tuesday.
The ships cruised within almost 20 kilometers (about 12 miles) of the disputed islands, close enough to trigger Japanese warning.
Japanese patrol boats warned the Taiwanese boats to leave with electronic signboards and directives in Chinese over loud speakers.
China has also dispatched government marine monitoring vessels to patrol around the Japan-administered islands.
Taiwanese surveillance ship responded that the waters belonged to Taiwan and that the boats were engaged in legitimate operations and urged the Japanese patrol boats to withdraw, Kyodo News agency reported.
The furore over islands in East China Sea was triggered when Japan bought some islands in disputed area, also claimed by China and Taiwan.
The islands called Senkaku Islands in Japan and Diaoyu Islands in China have become the apple of discord with China witnessing violent protests and boycott of Japanese goods.
To placate the matters, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun and Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Chikao Kawai will be meeting today in Beijing.
Recently, the tensions have flared with Chinese surveillance boats sailing in and out of waters around the islands claimed by Japan.
With Agency Inputs