The Chinese Ministry of Natural Resources on Monday issued a landform survey report on the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, which are controlled by Japan but claimed by the Communist-led government.
The ministry said the survey, using satellite remote sensing technology, was aimed at obtaining data to manage resources and protect the ecological environment of the uninhabited islets, called Diaoyu in China.
The Japanese Foreign Ministry has lodged a protest against China over the move through diplomatic channels, saying it was based on the assumption that the Asian neighbor has a claim to the islands, according to sources close to the matter.
Sino-Japanese relations have often been frayed by the territorial issue. Washington and Tokyo have agreed that the islets fall under the scope of a Japan-U.S. security treaty.