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Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008

Aso to ask Wen about intrusion

Staff writer

Prime Minister Taro Aso will bring up the issue of China's intrusions into Japan's territorial waters near the Senkaku Islands when he meets with Chinese Premiere Wen Jiabao on Saturday in Fukuoka Prefecture, Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone said.

Two Chinese survey ships were spotted Monday morning by the Japan Coast Guard inside Japan's territorial waters around the islands in the East China Sea.

The ships remained in the area more than nine hours despite warnings to leave by the coast guard. The islands are claimed by Japan, which controls them, and China and Taiwan.

While a Chinese official reportedly said the survey was conducted within Chinese waters, Nakasone said Tuesday that the Senkaku Islands are both historically and internationally recognized as belonging to Japan.

Prime Minister Taro Aso will "raise the issue in a proper manner" during the bilateral meeting to be held on the sidelines of summit talks in Fukuoka between Japan, China and South Korea, Nakasone said.

'Patrols' defended

BEIJING (Kyodo) The Chinese government on Tuesday rejected suggestions that sending two survey ships into waters off the disputed Senkaku Islands the day before was a provocative act.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said the islands are in Chinese territorial waters. "I cannot accept that China has carried out any provocative acts in these waters because China has carried out normal patrol activities in Chinese territorial waters, which are under the jurisdiction of China," he said.

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The Japan Times

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