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Japan to conduct island defence drill amid tension with China

Published on May 1, 2014 5:07 PM

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan will conduct a military exercise this month to practice defending an island, the Defence Ministry said on Thursday, underscoring concern about East China Sea islands controlled by Japan but claimed by China.

The dispute over the islands, called the Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, has raised fears of a clash between the Asian neighbours which could even drag in the United States.

Separately, China said on Wednesday it would carry out naval exercises with Russia in the East China Sea in what it called a bid to deepen military cooperation.

Japan's Defence Ministry said the island defence exercise would run from May 10 to May 27 on a small uninhabited island in the Ryukyu chain, some 600 km north-east of the disputed isles.

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