A Chinese govt. ship temporarily enters Japanese waters off Senkaku Islands

A Chinese government ship has temporarily entered Japan's territorial waters off the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, the 18th such incident this year.

According to Japan Coast Guard, the Chinese ship entered Japan's territorial waters off Taisho Island shortly before 9 a.m. on Thursday, as if to follow a Japanese fishing boat operating nearby.

The Chinese ship then stayed inside Japan's territorial waters for more than 2 hours. Japan Coast Guard confirmed that the Chinese ship had left the territorial waters by 11:20 a.m., sometime after the Japanese fishing boat had left the area.

The Coast Guard is continuing its watch on the Chinese ship, warning it not to enter Japanese waters again.

This is the 18th time this year, and the first since June 7 that official Chinese ships have entered Japan's territorial waters off the Senkaku Islands.

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.