Four Japanese local politicians on Tuesday landed on islands in the East China Sea at the centre of a bitter territorial dispute with Beijing, a news report said.
The group from the Ishigaki municipal assembly in Okinawa in the south of Japan landed on the uninhabited islets, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, in the morning, Kyodo news agency said.
A spokesman for Japan's coast guard said "someone" went to the isles, but declined to give details. An official announcement was expected later in the day, he added.
Kyodo said a coast guard patrol ship confirmed that three members of the local assembly landed on one of the islands around 9:30am while the fourth followed 20 minutes later, Kyodo said.
They left Ishigaki Port on a fishing boat late on Monday, Kyodo said, citing the coast guard.