Japanese officials ordered three Chinese coast guard vessels to leave what Japan considers its territorial waters near a group of disputed islets in the East China Sea, a local media reported on Wednesday.
The local media said that the three ships left the area around noon (0300 GMT) after sailing around the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands for about two hours.
The uninhabited islets are also claimed by China and Taiwan, where they are called Diaoyu and Tiaoyutai, respectively.
The Japanese government bought three of the islets from a private owner in September 2011, leading to anti-Japan protests across China and a boycott of Japanese products.
Wednesday’s incident came just a week after the Education Ministry in Tokyo released its new teaching guidelines for high school students, which underline the Senkakus are “inherent” parts of Japan’s territory.
In January, China’s submarine and navy warship were also spotted near the islets, which prompted Tokyo to lodge a protest with Beijing.