Japan activists defy China, sail to disputed islands

Nearly two dozen Japanese nationalist activists and fishermen have sailed to a small group of islands at the center of a territorial dispute with China. They were closely monitored by Japan's Coast Guard, but there were no Chinese patrols in the area and no incidents were reported.

 Japan activists defy China, sail to disputed islands

There were no Chinese patrols at the time of the incident: AP

The five fishing vessels carrying around 20 activists and fishermen sailed to the islands early Sunday. Those aboard began fishing in the local waters. They did not appear to have any plans to try to land on the islands, which is forbidden by the Japanese government and would be seen as a border violation by Beijing.

Both countries claim the uninhabited islands, known as the Senkaku in Japan and the Diaoyu in China, and have stepped up patrols to bolster their territorial claims.

Associated Press

Updated Date: Aug 18, 2013 13:28:19 IST