China ships sail near Senkakus for record 112 days

Chinese government ships have sailed just outside Japan's territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea for 112 straight days -- a record number of consecutive days since 2012.

The Japan Coast Guard said that as of 12:00 a.m. on Friday, four official Chinese vessels were sailing in the contiguous zone just outside of Japan's territorial waters.

Chinese government ships have sailed in the contiguous zone off the coast of the Senkakus for 112 days in a row since February 13. It is the longest span since Japan's government acquired ownership of some of the islands from a Japanese owner nine years ago.

The vessels have repeatedly entered Japan's territorial waters and tried to approach Japanese fishing boats. The Coast Guard remains on alert.

In a comment, the Coast Guard said it will take firm action in accordance with international and domestic law to prevent the situation from escalating.

Japan controls the islands. China and Taiwan claim them. The Japanese government maintains the islands are an inherent part of Japan's territory, in terms of history and international law. It says there is no issue of sovereignty to be resolved over them.