Senior official rejects Chinese protests over raising of Japanese flag on disputed islands by group of nationalists.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda has announced that his government is buying a disputed chain of islands in the East China Sea from private owners.
The move has prompted the Chinese government to send patrol ships to the islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. They are near rich fishing grounds and potentially large gas fields.
Al Jazeera’s Marga Ortigas reports from Hong Kong.