Philippines says it has resumed patrols at disputed shoal

The Philippine coast guard says it has resumed patrols at a shoal at the center of a territorial dispute with China using two vessels, including one supplied by Japan.

Coast guard spokesman Armand Balilo said Monday that the two patrol boats were deployed to Scarborough Shoal last week. He said the Philippines plans to conduct regular patrols of those waters off the country's northwest.

China took control of the shoal in 2012 after a tense standoff with Philippine government ships. China then blocked Filipinos from fishing in the shoal, prompting then President Benigno Aquino III to take the dispute to international arbitration.

Filipino fishermen regained access to the shoal recently after President Rodrigo Duterte met Chinese officials in Beijing.