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A Japanese flotilla has arrived in the waters off the Diaoyu Islands. That’s according to AFP news agency. A group of 150 people, including lawmakers and political rightist elements, left the Japanese port city of Ishigaki on Saturday evening.
They planned to commemorate the Japanese who died in the final stages of World War Two. The Japanese government has refused to give permission to land on the Diaoyu Islands, but the group is free to sail near them. The action aims to reassert Japanese ownership of the islands.
On Saturday, China lodged solemn representations with Japan over the Japanese nationalists’ plan to go to the Diaoyu Islands to perform religious rites.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang said China urged Japan to immediately stop this action that seeks to undermine China’s territorial sovereignty. Qin also said any unilateral action taken by Japan on the Diaoyu Islands is illegal and invalid.