China's fishery administration authorities Wednesday confirmed that two of its vessels have sailed into waters near the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea.
"Our vessels are conducting routine patrols that are authorized by the central government. We have every right to do so," a press official with the Regional Bureau of East China Sea Fishery Management told the Global Times Wednesday.
Related officials also revealed that the two ships, Yuzheng 203 and Yuzheng 204, started their mission on Sunday and will continue their patrol until May 9, Securities Times reported.
Japanese authorities have protested against Chinese patrols on waters 30 kilometers northwest of the Diaoyu Islands, saying it is the fourth time that Chinese vessels have appeared in the area, according to Tokyo-based Yomiuri Shimbun.
The report said Chinese vessels claimed that they are in their own territory after Japanese patrol ships warned them to stay away from "Japanese territorial waters."
Kyodo News reported that Japanese patrol ships discovered two fishery administration ships around the island in early April.
This is not the only case of territorial friction around the Diaoyu Islands between China and Japan.
The Tokyo metropolitan government said Wednesday it had received about 76 million yen ($934,000) in donations from people in five days to help buy the Diaoyu Islands after it opened a special account on Friday.
Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara said last month that Tokyo is negotiating with the owner of three of the five Japanese-controlled main uninhabited islands to purchase them by the end of this year.
The metropolitan government also said it had received 197 inquiries by telephone by noon Tuesday, while also having received cash sent by registered mail.
The Chinese foreign ministry told the Global Times that it held the same stance toward unilateral action from Japan in its bid to violate China's lawful ownership of these islands, and maintained that China has indisputable sovereignty over the islands.
Yang Bojiang, director of Japanese Studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times that the continuous provocative actions demonstrate the unbalanced stance taken in Japanese society toward China.
"Japan is growing more reliant on China in the economy but competitive in politics and military power. The actions by these Japanese officials have strong political purposes. They are trying to win wider support," Yang said.
On March 2, Japan gave names to 39 isolated, uninhabited islands, including four in the Diaoyu Islands chain, which drew strong objections from China.
"Confrontation in the East China Sea is very obvious but luckily these frictions are limited to the political sphere. If Japan keeps escalating its actions, no one can rule out the possibilities of violent confrontation, which neither side wants to see," Yang said.