TOKYO, 6th April, 2016 (WAM) — The Japan Coast Guard has deployed 12 ships assigned exclusively to patrolling areas around the Senkaku Islands amid China’s growing assertiveness in the East China Sea.

The 10 new 1,500-ton patrol ships and two helicopter-equipped patrol vessels will become fully operational this month as part of efforts to strengthen protection of waters off the uninhabited islets that are claimed by both China and Taiwan.