Japan on high alert for disputed islands anniversary
TOKYO (AFP) - Japan's coastguard was on high alert on Wednesday, a year to the day since Tokyo nationalised islands at the centre of a bitter dispute with China.
Relations, which have often been testy, have soured dramatically over the last 12 months, with frequent confrontations between official ships from Asia's largest powers.
On Tuesday, Tokyo said it had not ruled out stationing officials there, drawing a response from Beijing, which warned Japan "must be prepared to bear the consequences of this provocation".
"We are on high alert as today marks the first anniversary of the nationalisation of the Senkaku islands," coastguard official Yuma Miyako told AFP, referring to the Tokyo-controlled islands claimed by China as the Diaoyus.