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Japan to bolster patrols near disputed isles

AFP  |  Tokyo 

will beef up airborne patrols of disputed islands in the East Sea, an said today, in response to increased Chinese activity in the area.

New crew members will operate two extra jets that will be deployed in the next 12 months to strengthen patrols around the Senkaku Islands, according to a from the Coast

"We'll boost our aviation crew by bringing in 60 more members," the told AFP.

will deploy two 2000LXS jets this fiscal year and one more plane next year to allow a "24-hour patrol system" to monitor the disputed islands, known in as the Diaoyus.

The move comes after Japan spotted a Chinese nuclear-powered submarine in disputed waters early this year.

The uninhabited islets are at the centre of a festering row between and Beijing, which is also involved in a widening dispute with several Southeast Asian countries over islands in the South Sea.

The has long complained about China's routine dispatch of coast ships to waters surrounding the islands.

Relations between Japan and China deteriorated in 2012 when "nationalised" some of the islets.

Since then, the two top Asian economies have taken gradual steps to mend fences but relations remain tense.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, April 13 2018. 10:50 IST