China’s attempt to challenge Japan’s control of islands in the East China Sea by sending patrol ships to nearby waters was planned since 2006, much earlier than had previously been believed by the Japanese government, a former commanding officer of the China coast guard has said.
A Chinese coast guard vessel first entered Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands, which China calls Diaoyu, in December 2008. The Japanese government has since assumed that the commander of the vessel acted on his own initiative.
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