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Def. Minister Reiterates Japan Ready to Send Warships to Disputed Islands

© AFP 2022 / Toru YAMANAKA / FILESThis file picture taken on October 18, 2015 shows Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) escort ship Kurama (L) sailing with other ships during a fleet review off Sagami Bay, Kanagawa prefecture
This file picture taken on October 18, 2015 shows Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) escort ship Kurama (L) sailing with other ships during a fleet review off Sagami Bay, Kanagawa prefecture - Sputnik International
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Japanese Defense Minister stated that Japan is ready to send its warships to the area of the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

Spratly group of islands in the South China Sea, west of Palawan - Sputnik International
Beijing Wants Philippine Troops out of Disputed South China Sea Islands
TOKYO (Sputnik) Japan is ready to send its warships to the area of the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea in case China’s navy approaches them, Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani reiterated on Tuesday.

"If the situation becomes difficult to resolve with the help of the Coast Guard, the self-defense forces will be ordered to launch defensive operations at sea," Nakatani said, as broadcast by the NHK television.

The response mechanism at sea was approved by Japan’s government in May 2015.

The Senkaku Islands, known as the Diaoyu in China, are the subject to long-standing regional territorial disputes between China, Japan and Taiwan. The islands are part of Japan's Okinawa Prefecture.

In 2014, Japan and China agreed to reduce tensions over the disputed islands. However, Chinese vessels repeatedly intruded Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands in 2015.

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