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Japan to Mull Expanding Navy Patrols to South China Sea

The Japanese government said it would consider conducting air and sea patrols in the South China Sea, a move that would risk fresh tensions with China as its neighbor steps up its military presence in the region.

“The interdependence of nations is increasing and deepening, and the situation in the South China Sea affects our national security,” Defense Minister Gen Nakatani told reporters Tuesday in Tokyo. “The way our nation handles this will be an issue going forward,” he said, adding that Japan has no specific plans at the moment to start patrols.