China's coast guard confronted Japanese lawmakers in waters claimed by both countries in the East China Sea, the Chinese Embassy in Tokyo and Japanese media said on Sunday, the latest in a series of maritime disputes involving China and its neighbors.

Chinese vessels took unspecified law enforcement measures, the embassy said in a statement, adding that it had lodged solemn representations for what it called "infringement and provocation" by Japan near tiny, uninhabited islands that Beijing calls the Diaoyu and Tokyo calls the Senkakus.

The Japanese group, including former Defense Minister Tomomi Inada, was on an inspection mission organized by the city of Ishigaki, in Okinawa Prefecture, according to the Chinese Embassy and Japanese public broadcaster NHK.