China coast guard drives away Japanese vessels from disputed waters in the East China Sea

BEIJING, Jan 30 (Reuters) - China's coast guard drove away Japanese vessels from waters around disputed East China Sea islets on Monday, according to Chinese state media.

Disputed East China Sea islets claimed by both China and Japan have long been a sticking point in bilateral relations. China calls the islands Diaoyu while Japan calls them Senkaku.

China Marine Police spokesperson Gan Yu said the "Shinsei Maru" and four other Japanese ships illegally entered the territorial waters of the Diaoyu islands before being driven away by Chinese coast guard vessels, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

"We urge the Japanese side to immediately stop all illegal activities in these waters and ensure that similar incidents will not happen again," Gan was quoted as saying.

Reporting by Eduardo Baptista; Editing by Toby Chopra

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