Aug. 19 - Several Japanese activists, including a local lawmaker, land on disputed islands just days after Chinese activists were arrested for doing the same. Sarah Charlton reports.
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The Japanese flag flies on a disputed island in the East China Sea.
Just days after Japan arrested Chinese activists for landing on the island, a Japanese flotilla decided to do the same.
Around nine activists from a group of more than 100, swam ashore and waved the Japanese flag.
The island chain is at the heart of a long-standing territorial row between Tokyo and Beijing.
Known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoya in China, the near sits near potentially lucrative gas reserves.
The tit-for-tat landing has raised tension between Japan and China, while rallying nationalist sentiment.
SOUNDBITE: LOCAL LAWMAKER FROM SHIZUOKA PREFECTURE, KAZUKO UEMATSU (Japanese):
"I was hoping that someone with a real sense of Japanese spirit and courage would go and land and raise the flag. I just feel they've done a good job."
After arriving back at their boats, the nine activists were questioned by Japanese customs.
The government had denied the group permission to land. China had also urged the action be stopped.
The dispute is one of many dogging diplomatic ties between Asian nations, rowing over rival territorial claims.
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