Japanese maritime authorities say three Chinese government ships have sailed into waters around disputed islands controlled by Tokyo, for the first time since late May.
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The coast guard said three surveillance vessels were spotted inside the 22-kilometer zone off the unoccupied Senkaku islands, which China calls the Diaoyus, in the East China Sea shortly before 9:30 a.m. Friday.
The coast guard said it was warning the ships to leave the area.
Last September, Tokyo nationalized the islands, which have been the focus of a decades-long dispute. The resource-rich islands are also claimed by Taiwan.