The presence of Chinese coast guard vessels near the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea has been interrupted after daily appearances spanning some five months, apparently due to an approaching typhoon in the area, local Japanese coast guard officials said Tuesday.
Chinese coast guard ships had been spotted near the uninhabited islets for 157 days in a row but were not confirmed on Monday, disrupting the longest streak since the islands were brought under state control in September 2012.
Despite repeated protest by Tokyo, China has frequently sent its coast guard vessels near the Senkaku Islands, including in Japan's territorial waters.
China enacted a maritime security law in February that enables its coast guard ships to fire on foreign vessels in waters that Beijing deems its territory.
The islands, known as Diaoyu in China, are said to sit in waters containing natural resources such as oil and gas. China started claiming the territory in around the 1970s.