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Japan says suspected Chinese submarine seen near territorial waters

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Japan’s defence ministry said on Sunday that a submarine believed to be from China was spotted in waters near its southern islands, as maritime tensions persist in the Pacific.

Japan’s navy on Friday morning identified a submerged vessel sailing northwest just outside territorial waters near Amami Oshima island, part of Kagoshima prefecture, the ministry said in a statement. A Chinese destroyer was also spotted in the vicinity.

Tokyo has complained of numerous intrusions by Chinese vessels of its territorial waters and near disputed islands in recent years. China has often reacted angrily to U.S. ships sailing through disputed areas of the South China Sea in what Washington calls displays of freedom of navigation.

Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi, visiting Vietnam during a Southeast Asia trip, said those two countries should refrain from unilateral actions regarding the South China Sea that could complicate and magnify disputes.

Saturday’s announcement…

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