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Iran Press TV

China threatens peace in islands dispute: Japan Defense Min.

Iran Press TV

Tue Oct 29, 2013 12:40PM GMT

Japan Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera says China is jeopardizing peace by sending its forces to the disputed islands in the East China Sea, amid the heightened tensions between Beijing and Tokyo over the islands.

Onodera's comments came on Tuesday after the Japanese coast guard announced that the Chinese ships have sailed into the territorial waters of the islands known as Diaoyu in Chinese and Senkaku in Japanese.

'I believe the intrusions by China in the territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands fall in the 'grey zone' (between) peacetime and an emergency situation,' Japanese defense minister said.

On Monday, China sent four coast guard vessels into the waters around the islands, where they stayed for two hours.

Beijing's move came after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gave the green light to plans to shoot down Chinese drones if they fly over Japan's airspace.

This is while China warned Japan against firing on its unmanned aircrafts on October 26, with Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan saying, "Any bid to shoot down China's aircraft would constitute a serious provocation, an act of war of sorts," and promised "firm countermeasures."

China and Japan have long been locked in a dispute for more than a decade over the sovereignty of the uninhabited islands in the East China Sea.

In September, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Beijing is ready to hold talks with Japan over the maritime row. Wang also blamed Japan for the rising tensions between the two countries.

On September 11, 2012, the Japanese government signed a deal to buy three of the islands from their private Japanese owner in line with plans to nationalize the archipelago.

The move sparked a new wave of dispute and protests across China.

Since then, Chinese ships have been sailing in and out of the waters around the islands, which Japan claims are situated in its territorial waters.

MM/PR/SS



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