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China defence ministry denies Japan radar incident

Published on Feb 8, 2013 11:56 AM
Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer Yuudachi is seen in this undated handout photo released by Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and obtained by Reuters on Feb 5, 2013. A Chinese vessel pointed a type of radar normally used to help guide missiles at a Japanese navy ship near disputed East China Sea islets, prompting the Japanese government to lodge a protest with China, Japanese public broadcaster NHK said on Feb 5.-- PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (AFP) - Beijing's defence ministry on Friday denied Japanese allegations that a Chinese warship's radar system had locked onto one of Japan's vessels, and accused Tokyo of hyping the "China threat".

The incident, which Japan said happened last week, marked the first time the two nations' navies have locked horns in a territorial dispute that has some commentators warning about a possible armed conflict.

The neighbours - also the world's second- and third-largest economies - have seen ties sour over uninhabited Japanese-controlled islands in the East China Sea known as Senkaku in Tokyo and Diaoyu by Beijing, which claims them.

On both Jan 19 and Jan 30, China's defence ministry said in a statement faxed to AFP, the Chinese ship-board radar maintained normal operations and "fire-control radar was not used".

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