• Kyodo News

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Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa said Friday he will visit Hanoi for three days from Sunday, where he is scheduled to meet with officials of Vietnam and other countries, including U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

During the meetings, Kitazawa is expected to discuss the “recent enhancement” of the Chinese navy’s activities in the East China Sea and the South China Sea, where territorial disputes involving China have taken place.

Ties between Japan and China have dipped to their lowest point in years since a Chinese fishing boat and Japan Coast Guard cutters were involved in collisions near the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

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