Activists from the Hong Kong-based "Action Committee for Defending the Diaoyu Islands" left Hong Kong on Monday aboard a fishing boat bound for the disputed islands known as Senkaku in Japan, or Diaoyu in China.
Anti-Japan protesters gathered outside the People's Liberation Army (PLA) headquarters to urge the Chinese government to send PLA Navy vessels to escort the boats and make sure there is no interference from Japan's coast guard.
The activists are sailing to the islands to protest against a plan by some 50 Japanese lawmakers to visit the islands on Aug 18. However, late Monday, the government of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said it cannot authorize the visit as it may adversely affect bilateral relations.
Tension over the islands has escalated since Tokyo Gov Shintaro Ishhara outlined his intention to buy the disputed islands.© Japan Today