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TOKYO, August 8. /TASS/. The record number of Chinese patrol boats - 14 - has sailed near of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, Japan Coast Guard said on Monday.
Some of the patrol boats "are equipped with weapons," the Japanese coast guard said adding that 13 Chinese patrol boats were spotted near the disputed islands on Sunday.
Last week the Japanese government sent a note of protest to China over the growing number of Chinese ships near the Senkaku Islands. On Saturday, a group of nearly 230 Chinese fishing schooners and six ships was spotted near the islands. In response to protests from Japan, Beijing called on Tokyo to refrain from actions that may aggravate the situation.
Tensions between China and Japan over the islands flared up after in September 2012 Tokyo announced that it was buying islands from their private owners. After that China saw mass anti-Japanese rallies, while ships of the Chinese maritime police launched constant patrols close to the islands and now and then defiantly sail into the coastal zone.