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China's threat to Japan over islands

China -- whose vessels are seen here on patrol -- reserves the right to take strong counter-measures if Japan 'creates incidents' in the waters around a group of disputed uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, a Chinese vice-foreign minister has said.

"We are watching very closely what action Japan might take regarding the Diaoyu islands and their adjacent waters," Zhang Zhijun said at an unusual late-night news briefing.

"The action that Japan might take will shape China's counter-measures."

Japan also claims the islands, which it calls the Senkaku.