TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan lodged a protest with China on Wednesday after two Chinese ships briefly entered what it regards as its territorial waters near disputed East China Sea islets.
Tokyo saw its ties with Beijing deteriorate sharply last year following its arrest of a Chinese skipper whose trawler collided with Japanese patrol boats near the isles, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China.
"Vice Foreign Minister (Kenichiro) Sasae summoned the Chinese ambassador and said Senkaku islands are Japan's integral territory historically and in terms of international law," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano told a news conference.
The two Chinese fishing patrol boats entered the disputed waters near the isles on Wednesday morning, and stayed there for a short time, Edano said.
(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)