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China aircraft carrier stages 100-plus takeoffs near Okinawa islands

Japan sends destroyer to observe, saying warplanes fly from Liaoning for week

The Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning has been spotted near Okinawa. (Japan's Ministry of Defense via Kyodo)

TOKYO -- Chinese warplanes have taken off from an aircraft carrier sailing near Okinawa more than 100 times in the past week, Japanese defense officials said Tuesday.

The Chinese carrier Liaoning staged the takeoffs May 3 through Sunday, Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi told reporters. The Defense Ministry's joint staff reported that fighter and helicopter launches took place Monday as well.

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