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China, Japan trade blame over confrontation near disputed islands

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Recasts throughout with Japan statements; previous dateline was BEIJING; changing media slug

BEIJING/TOKYO, Dec 10 (Reuters) -China and Japan accused each other of maritime incursions after a confrontation between their coast guards in waters around disputed islands in the East China Sea.

China's coast guard said on Sunday that a Japanese fishing boat and several patrol vessels intruded the previous day into waters around the tiny islands, called Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan.

The uninhabited islands are controlled by Japan but also claimed by China.

China's coast guard said in a statement it had taken necessary measures in accordance with the law to warn away the Japanese vessels.

Japan's coast guard said on Saturday that two Chinese maritime patrol boats left Japan's territorial waters around the islands after receiving warnings. It said its patrol vessels were protecting a Japanese fishing boat that had been approached by the Chinese ships.

Similar incidents occurred in November and October.

Asian maritime disputes involving China have been escalating. China and the Philippines traded accusations on Sunday over a collision between their vessels in a part of the South China Sea each nation claims, marking the second confrontation in as many days.

Reporting by Colleen Howe in Beijing and Kevin Buckland in Tokyo; editing by Miral Fahmy and William Mallard


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