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Japan warns of China’s influence in disputed sea

WASHINGTON (PNA/Kyodo) – The commander of the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force warned Wednesday against the possibility that the entire South China Sea could be “covered by China’s sphere of military influence” if Beijing uses artificial islands it has built there for military purposes.

In a speech delivered at a think tank in Washington, Adm. Tomohisa Takei underlined the importance of ensuring that the South China Sea is “free and open waters” all the time to “make the Indo-Pacific ‘Ocean of Prosperity.” Should the freedom of navigation be threatened, Takei warned that “an unexpected incident at sea can occur as a result.”