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China coastguard in disputed waters: Japan

Four Chinese coastguard ships on Friday entered territorial waters near Tokyo-controlled islands at the centre of a bitter sovereignty row, Japan’s coastguard said.
The vessels entered the 12-nautical-mile band of waters at around 9:30 am local time (0030 GMT), the agency said, the latest in a series of incursions by Chinese government ships in recent months.

The incident Friday comes a week after the first entry by coastguard ships since Beijing combined several agencies under the coastguard flag last month, a development that observers said would involve the arming of more crew.
The island dispute has been cited as a potential flashpoint that may lead to armed conflict between the Asian giants. Observers say the presence of a large number of official vessels, some of them armed, increases the likelihood of a confrontation since a minor slip could quickly escalate.

Agencies

Agencies

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