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UPDATED: 08:30, May 24, 2004
Chinese patrol vessel to attend exercise in Japan
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China's largest patrol vessel -- "Haixun 21" left Shanghai Saturday for Japan to attend a joint maritime parade and comprehensive exercise.

This is the first time for China's maritime patrol vessel to visit Japan. The Chinese vessel delegation will attend a two-day joint maritime exercise in Japan hosted by the Japan Coast Guard starting on May 29.

Before the exercise, the Chinese vessel will carry out navigation, maritime rescue and fire fighting exercises on its way to Japan on May 23 and 24. The vessel will arrive in the Tokyo Bayon May 25.

The "Haixun 21" is currently the most advanced patrol vessel in China, with three-dimension monitoring and 24-hour maritime rescuecapacity. The vessel is also the only one of its kind in China capable of accommodating helicopters.

He Jianzhong, head of the Chinese vessel delegation, said that the visit to Japan will help increase mutual understanding and cooperation between Chinese Maritime sector and that of the neighboring countries.

In addition, the Chinese side also hopes to conduct further cooperation with the maritime forces of neighboring countries, making joint efforts to ensure maritime safety and protect ocean environment, said He.

According to the delegation, the Chinese vessel will return to Shanghai on June 2.

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