Chinese state-run media China National Radio claimed around 1,000 fishing boats were to sail to contested waters on Monday night, highlighting the mounting tensions that have rippled through the East China Sea.

According to the Japan Times, the large number of vessels may be joined by six Chinese surveillance ships from nearby waters. The intrusion into Japanese territorial waters could provoke clashes with the Japan Coast Guard and could blow up into war as US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned. Violent protests broke out across China since Japan went ahead with purchasing three of the Senkaku Islands chain, forcing Japanese businesses to close up shop and left many Japanese-made cars upturned in streets. Around 200 anti-Japanese protesters attacked the Japanese embassy in Beijing on Monday, throwing eggs and plastic bottles at the building.

Japan reiterated that the Senkaku Islands are an “integral part” of Japanese territory, claiming that “there are no territorial disputes between the two countries”.