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Monday February 5, 2007

Japan warns China over maritime survey near disputed island


TOKYO (AP) - Japan warned China over its "inappropriate'' behavior on Monday, after a Chinese ship entered disputed waters for an apparent maritime survey over the weekend. 

The civilian ship, spotted early Sunday off a group of East China Sea islands claimed by both Tokyo and Beijing, had already left the area that Japan deems part of its exclusive economic zone, or EEZ. 

"It is inappropriate for activities to be carried out inside EEZ waters'' without notification, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki said at a news conference Monday. "We strongly hope that such activities will not be repeated.'' 

The flap over the islands _ called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu by China _ is among various disputes that have strained ties between the two countries. 

Tokyo controls the islands, also claimed by Taiwan, as well as the surrounding fishing grounds. Japan seized the islands in 1895 when it colonized Taiwan. 

As the Chinese ship Dongfanghong No. 2 carried out the apparent survey, it ignored repeated warnings issued by loudspeakers and radio from a Japanese coast guard patrol boat, coast guard officials said. 

The vessel left the zone Sunday night heading west, the coast guard said. Tokyo had formally protested to Beijing on Sunday and demanded that the ship cease its activities. - AP

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