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China’s Defense Ministry has accused Japanese jets of locking their weapons-targeting radar on its fighters over the East China Sea, an allegation denied Tuesday by a high-ranking Japanese official.

In a statement posted to the ministry’s website late Monday, China rebuffed reports that emerged last week in Japanese media that a Chinese fighter had been close to firing on an Air Self-Defense Force jet that was scrambled over the East China Sea, home to the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands. The islands are also claimed by China, where they are known as Diaoyu.

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