Japan’s Coast Guard says two Japanese have landed on one of the islands at the centre of a blazing territorial dispute with China.

Coast Guard official Yuji Sakanaka said on Tuesday that the reason the two landed was unclear. Coast Guard officials were questioning them.

A Coast Guard vessel issued a warning to a vessel near the islands early Tuesday. But officials said they could not confirm reports that more 1,000 Chinese fishing boats were headed toward the East China Sea island group, known as the Senkakus in Japan and the Diaoyus in China.

Tensions have risen over ownership of the islands, and a Japanese government decision to buy some of the islands from their private owner has provoked violent anti-Japanese protests in many Chinese cities.

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