Four Chinese government ships spent several hours in territorial waters around disputed Japanese-controlled islands yesterday. The move came as Tokyo and Beijing prepared for talks aimed at solving the territorial dispute that has derailed the relationship between the two countries. It also came hours before outspoken nationalist Shintaro Ishihara resigned as Tokyo governor to start his own national party. His plan to buy the East China Sea islands sparked the last few months of hostilities. Lindsay Black, comments on the often-troubled relationship between the two countries.