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Tuesday, 5 February 2013


5 February 2013 Last updated at 11:47 GMT

Japan protest over China ship's radar action

A Chinese vessel has locked its weapon-targeting radar on a Japanese ship, Tokyo says, amid mounting tensions over a territorial row.
Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said the incident happened on 30 January near islands claimed by both nations in the East China Sea.
He said this had prompted Tokyo to lodge a formal protest with Beijing.
The row, over islands known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, has escalated in recent months.
Japan's coast guard ship (left) sails along China's marine surveillance near the disputed islands in the East China Sea. File photo
Chinese ships have been regularly patrolling near the disputed islands
'Dangerous situation'
"On 30 January, something like fire-control radar was directed at a Japan Self-Defence Maritime escort ship in the East China Sea," Mr Onodera told reporters on Tuesday.
The minister identified the Chinese vessel as a navy frigate, adding that a Japanese military helicopter was also targeted with a similar radar a few days earlier.
"Directing such radar is very abnormal. We recognise it would create a very dangerous situation if a single misstep occurred," he said.
The dispute over their ownership of the islands has continued for years, but it reignited in 2012 when the Japanese government purchased three of the islands from their private Japanese owner.
The eight uninhabited islands and rocks lie close to strategically important shipping lanes, offer rich fishing grounds and are thought to contain oil deposits.
Also on Tuesday, the Chinese ambassador to Japan rebuffed an earlier protest over continuing Chinese patrols off the disputed islands, according to China's state-run Xinhua news agency.
Ambassador Cheng Yonghua said the islands and the surrounding waters were China's "inherent territory".
Map
Source: BBC, UK.

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