TOKYO, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- A Taiwanese fishing boat and four coast guard ships returned from contiguous waters of the Diaoyu Islands on Thursday without reaching the islands, local media reported.
To bring a sea goddess statue to the islands, the boat, named "Happy Family" in English, left Taiwan early Thursday morning and sailed to the contiguous zone at around 11: 05 a.m. with the four guarding ships.
The five vessels returned at about 1 p.m. as they were impeded by ships of Japanese Coast Guard, according to Japan's broadcaster NHK.
Sino-Japanese tensions have boiled over after Japan "purchased" Diaoyu Islands in September in 2012 despite opposition from the Chinese government. Local authorities in Taiwan have also protested the move.