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Japan PM attends naval review amid tension with China

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda told his navy on Sunday that Japan's security environment was tougher than ever, underscoring tension with China over a territorial dispute and the threat of North Korea's weapons programs. Sino-Japanese relations deteriorated sharply after Japan in September bought from private owners some of the East China Sea islets that both Tokyo and Beijing claim. That sparked violent anti-Japanese protests across China and badly hurt trade. About 47,000 U.S. troops are based in Japan. Noda braved occasional bouts of drizzle to review destroyers, submarines, minesweepers and fuel supply vessels that passed in front of him while SDF helicopters and P-3C anti-submarine patrol planes flew overhead. The disputed group of islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, are located near rich fishing grounds and potentially huge oil and gas reserves. Patrol vessels from Japan and China have been keeping a wary watch on each other in the East China Sea near the islets, raising concerns that an unintended collision or other incident could develop into a broader clash. Thousands of civilians were invited onto the decks of naval ships to watch the live fire show. Among the spectators were a number of foreign military officials, including those in Chinese army uniforms, to watch Japan's military review that only happens once in three years. Last month, China's Navy conducted a live ammunition drill in the East China Sea employing the main forces of the East China Sea Fleet of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, including dozens of warships and submarines.

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