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Japan condemns China fishing curbs, vows to defend islands

Published on Jan 12, 2014 4:05 PM

NARASHINO, Japan (REUTERS) - Japan on Sunday joined the United States in criticising China's new fishing restrictions in the South China Sea, saying the curbs, coupled with the launch last year of an air defence zone, has left the international community jittery.

Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera made the comment after observing the Japanese Self-Defence Forces' elite airborne brigade conducting airdrop drills designed to hone their skills to defend and retake remote islands.

Earlier on Sunday, Chinese government ships briefly entered what Japan considers its territorial waters near a group of disputed East China Sea islets, in the first such action this year.

"Setting something like this unilaterally as if you are treating your own territorial waters, and imposing certain restrictions on fishing boats is not something that is internationally tolerated," Mr Onodera told reporters.

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