S Korean, Japanese patrol boats in confrontation in waters near disputed islets

19:34, January 13, 2011      

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South Korean and Japanese patrol boats have been got into a confrontation in waters near the disputed islets of Dokdo, known as Takeshima in Japan, due to a South Korean fishing boat's possible crossing of the exclusive economic zone, local media reported Thursday.

The confrontation, involved one South Korean coast guard vessel and four Japanese patrol ships, began at around 2:00 p.m. local time in waters about 43 sea miles southwest off the disputed islets in the Sea of Japan, Seoul's Yonhap News Agency said, citing an unnamed maritime official.

The standoff took place when a 29-ton South Korean fishing boat allegedly entered Japanese exclusive economic zone, the official said, adding that the two sides are conducting a joint investigation currently.

Both South Korea and Japan claim sovereignty over the lonely islets, lying halfway between the two countries. South Korea has controlled the islets since 1950s.

Source: Xinhua

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