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Japan nationalists raise flags on island in China row

Published on Aug 19, 2012 7:30 AM
A flotilla carrying Japanese nationalists and lawmakers arrived on Sunday at islands at the heart of a territorial row with China, with activists declaring their intention to land.-- PHOTO: REUTERS

SENKAKU ISLANDS, Japan (AFP) - Nationalists raised Japanese flags on an island at the heart of a corrosive territorial row with China on Sunday, in a move likely to further inflame tensions with Beijing.

Around a dozen members of the right wing group Gambare Nippon (Hang In There Japan) swam ashore, an AFP journalist witnessed, from a 20-boat flotilla carrying activists and lawmakers.

The landing comes just days after Tokyo deported pro-Beijing protesters who had landed on the island, part of a chain administered by Japan but claimed by China, which had warned against acts "harming" its territorial sovereignty.

Local Tokyo politician Eiji Kosaka, one of the men who made it to the island, said the group had planted Japanese flags on the mountainside and on the shore.

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