Taiwan ships return without reaching Diaoyu Islets

Updated: 2013-01-24 16:22


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TOKYO - A Taiwan's fishing boat and four coast guard ships returned from contiguous waters of the Diaoyu Islands on Thursday without reaching the islands, local media reported.

To bring a sea goddess statue to the islands, the boat, named Happy Family in English, left Taiwan early Thursday morning and sailed to the contiguous zone at around 11:05 am with the four guarding ships.

The five vessels returned at about 1 pm as they were impeded by ships of Japanese Coast Guard, according to Japan's broadcaster NHK.

Sino-Japanese tensions have boiled over after Japan "purchased" Diaoyu Islands in September in 2012 despite opposition from the Chinese government. Local authorities in Taiwan have also protested the move.