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Japan, US express concern at China-Vietnam maritime spat

Published on May 8, 2014 1:48 PM
A Chinese ship (L) uses water cannon on a Vietnamese Sea Guard ship on the South China Sea near the Paracels islands, in this handout photo taken on May 2, 2014 and released by the Vietnamese Marine Guard on May 8, 2014. 

TOKYO  (AFP) - Japan and the United States said on Thursday they were deeply concerned by the latest flare-up between China and Vietnam over contested waters, with Tokyo urging Beijing to rein in its “provocative” actions.

The comments came after Hanoi said Chinese vessels rammed its patrol ships and turned water cannon on them near a controversial drilling rig in a disputed patch of the South China Sea.

At the same time, Japan and China continue to face off in their own territorial row over a small island grouping in the East China Sea and amid claims that Beijing is becoming increasingly assertive.

“We have strong concerns as there is information that many Vietnamese vessels were damaged and some people were injured,” Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters in Tokyo.

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