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Three Chinese maritime surveillance vessels entered Japanese territorial waters Thursday near the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, the Japan Coast Guard said.
The Haijian 23, Haijian 51 and Haijian 5001 were spotted entering the waters near the Japanese-controlled islands around 8:25 a.m. by a JCG boat, according to the 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture.
In response to JCG warnings to leave the area, the Haijian 5001 used an electric sign to say in Chinese, "You are already in violation of Chinese law. Please leave these Chinese-administered waters."
The incident marks the 49th time that Chinese government vessels have entered Japanese waters since Japan purchased three of the five main islands in the uninhibited islet group, called Diaoyu in China, from a private Japanese owner last September, and the first since last Saturday.
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