4 China Coast Guard ships enter Japanese waters near Senkakus

Four China Coast Guard ships entered Japanese territorial waters Friday near the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, the Japan Coast Guard said.

The four ships entered the waters around 3 p.m., according to the 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture.

One of them responded to warnings to leave the waters by saying in Chinese and Japanese that the islands have been Chinese territory since ancient times, the headquarters said.

The intrusion around the Japanese-controlled islet chain, which China claims and calls Diaoyu, was the first since Sept. 19 and the 66th since the Japanese government purchased a major part of the islands from a private owner in September last year.