Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said on Tuesday that his government would be vigilant and prepared in case Chinese fishing vessels approached disputed territorial waters.
“We will deal with it vigilantly and with all the necessary preparations,” Noda told journalists as he entered the Prime Minister’s offices in Tokyo.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, according to a report from the Kyodo news agency, a Japan Coast Guard patrol boat issued a warning to a Chinese fisheries patrol ship near the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands, which are also claimed by China where they are called Diaoyu, government officials said.
In Tokyo, officials said they could not confirm reports that more than 1-thousand Chinese fishing boats were headed toward the East China Sea island group.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura told a news conference that the government did not have any detailed information on vessels being near Japanese territorial waters.
Fujimura said the government, in response to the presence of the Chinese fisheries vessel, has established a team to strengthen information gathering resources.
Both Japan and China have seen a surge of nationalism over the dispute.
Tensions have risen over ownership of the islands, and a Japanese government decision to buy some of the islands from their private owner has provoked rowdy, sometimes violent, anti-Japanese protests in many Chinese cities.
Japanese stores and factories were targeted in some of the protests.
Fujimura called on China for a calm response saying that some of the companies in question “play an important role in China’s economy and employment.”
“We believe China should take a broader view and handle the issue calmly,” he added.
Fujimura said there had been reports of two Japanese people landing on Uotsuri island, one of the chain, but they had left after the police and coast guard issued warnings to the fishing vessels.
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