(From AP)

Japan said it spotted for the first time Tuesday an armed Chinese coast guard ship near islands at the center of a long-running territorial dispute between the two Asian giants.

In this photo provided by Japan Coast Guard, an armed Chinese coast guard ship sails in the water near islands, known as the Senkaku in Japanese and the Diaoyu in Chinese, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015. It spotted for the first time Tuesday an armed Chinese coast guard vessel near islands at the center of a long-running territorial dispute between the two Asian giants. (Japan Coast Guard via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT

Chinese ships regularly sail around the uninhabited islands, known as the Senkaku in Japanese and the Diaoyu in Chinese, but a Japanese coast guard spokesman said an armed Chinese coast guard vessel had never been sighted before in the area.

“We don’t know China’s intentions, but our response will remain unchanged, and we’ll act calmly and decisively for Japan’s safety,” said Yosuke Watanuki, a spokesman for the regional unit covering Japan’s remote southern islands. Read more

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