The Straits Times
Published on Feb 08, 2013

China defence ministry denies Japan radar incident


BEIJING (AFP) - Beijing's defence ministry on Friday denied Japanese allegations that a Chinese warship's radar system had locked onto one of Japan's vessels, and accused Tokyo of hyping the "China threat".

The incident, which Japan said happened last week, marked the first time the two nations' navies have locked horns in a territorial dispute that has some commentators warning about a possible armed conflict.

The neighbours - also the world's second- and third-largest economies - have seen ties sour over uninhabited Japanese-controlled islands in the East China Sea known as Senkaku in Tokyo and Diaoyu by Beijing, which claims them.

On both Jan 19 and Jan 30, China's defence ministry said in a statement faxed to AFP, the Chinese ship-board radar maintained normal operations and "fire-control radar was not used".