2 Chinese ships enter Japan's territorial waters off Senkaku Islands

Japan Coast Guard officials say two Chinese government ships have entered Japan's territorial waters near the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

The officials said the ships entered waters off Uotsuri Island at around 4:10 a.m. on Tuesday, Japan time. They added that the ships apparently tried to approach a Japanese fishing boat operating in the area.

The officials say that as of 4:20 a.m., the Chinese vessels were sailing in Japanese waters, about 20 kilometers southwest of Uotsuri Island.

Japanese patrols ships have been cruising around the fishing boat to ensure its safety, while demanding that the Chinese vessels immediately leave Japan's territorial waters.

This is the 11th time this year that Chinese government ships have been spotted entering Japanese territorial waters off the islands. The most recent occasion was on June 18.

Japan controls the Senkaku Islands. The Japanese government maintains the islands are an inherent part of Japan's territory. China and Taiwan claim them.