A boatload of Taiwanese activists tried to approach disputed uninhabited islets controlled by Japan in the East China Sea early Thursday but was warned away by Japan Coast Guard ships before managing to enter Japan’s territorial waters, JCG officials said.

The 50-ton Quanjiafu No. 6, a squid boat, was apparently seeking to land activists on one of the Senkaku islets to protest Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s Tuesday visit to Tokyo’s war-related Yasukuni Shrine on the anniversary of Japan’s surrender, according to the officials. Taiwan also claims the rocky islets, and calls them Tiaoyutai, as does China, which refers to them as Daioyu.

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