China calls on Japan to halt entries into disputed waters

BEIJING Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:23am EST

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BEIJING Dec 13 (Reuters) - China's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that Japan should halt entries into seas and airspace near disputed islets in the East China Sea, after Japan protested a flight over the islands by a Chinese plane.

The Chinese plane's flight, which prompted Japan's military to scramble eight F-15 fighter jets, was "completely normal" Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said during a regular news briefing.

Sino-Japanese relations have been strained since Japan bought the tiny islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, from a private Japanese owner in September.

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