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Japan vows defence as China ships near disputed isles

Published on Jan 12, 2014 3:51 PM
 
Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera holds a pair of binoculars as he inspects the new year exercise of Japanese Ground Self Defense Forces' airbourne troops in Narashino in Chiba prefecture, suburban Tokyo on Sunday, Jan 12, 2014. Mr Onodera vowed on Sunday to defend the country's territory as three Chinese government ships entered disputed waters off Tokyo-controlled islands in the East China Sea, the first such incident this year. -- PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (AFP) - Japan's defence minister vowed on Sunday to defend the country's territory as three Chinese government ships entered disputed waters off Tokyo-controlled islands in the East China Sea, the first such incident this year.

The Chinese coastguard vessels sailed into the 12-nautical-mile territorial waters at about 8.30am (7.30am Singapore time) off one of the Senkaku islands, which China also claims and calls the Diaoyus, Japan's coastguard said. They left less than two hours later.

"We can never overlook repeated incursions into territorial waters," Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters.

"We need to make diplomatic efforts on one hand. We also want to firmly defend our country's territorial sea and land with the Self-Defence Forces cooperating with the Coast Guard," he added.

 
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