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Japan mulls U.S. spy drones for marine surveillance

Japan mulls U.S. spy drones for marine surveillance

Japan is considering introducing U.S. spy drones to boost surveillance over the waters near the disputed Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea.

The Japanese defense ministry hopes to introduce the unmanned Global Hawk aircraft by 2015 “in a bid to counter China’s growing assertiveness at sea, especially when it comes to the Senkaku Islands”, Kyodo News said, citing unnamed government officials.

China has been sending maritime patrol vessels into waters around the islands since Tokyo "nationalized" the chain in September.

China is apparently seeking to prove that it can come and go in the area at will, and recently three of Chinese ships were spotted in the waters around the islands, according to Japan’s coastguard.

An earlier report said China has transferred two destroyers and nine other former navy vessels to its maritime surveillance fleet.

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