Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said on Thursday he had rescued a Japanese-registered vessel that had sunk in the disputed Spratly Islands.
The Japanese ship, a Tsubasa, was sunk in waters between the Philippines and China on Tuesday.
Duterte said the ship was under control of the Philippines Navy and the Japanese Coast Guard.
He did not give further details.
A Philippine coast guard officer said on Wednesday that the ship had been in a state of distress for several hours.
The Philippines coast guard said on Tuesday that the Japanese ship was also in distress.
Duterte also said on Twitter that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would travel to China next week for talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The visit is aimed at boosting bilateral ties and boosting trade and investment between the two countries.
On Wednesday, Duterte said China’s move to claim the disputed territory was a “threat to international peace and security.”
The Chinese foreign ministry issued a statement calling the move “outrageous and provocative.”
China has accused the Philippines of building up its military in the South China Sea to counter the Philippines, a charge Manila denies.
In April, a Chinese warship sailed near the Philippines coast and seized two Philippine fishing boats off the country’s west coast.
It later said it was responding to a “serious incident” with a Japanese fishing vessel, but did not say how it had discovered the vessels.