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International relations

Japan defense minister warns of China military intentions in Asia

Taro Kono says preemptive strike capacity is option after Aegis Ashore canceled

TOKYO -- Japanese Defense Minister Taro Kono doubled down on the need to keep an eye on China's military capabilities and intentions across Asia, in a rare briefing for foreign media on Thursday.

Explaining his decision two days ago to identify a submarine that ventured near Japanese territorial waters as a Chinese vessel, Kono said, "We need to raise awareness of what's going on around Japan," adding a laundry list of China's recent actions in the South China Sea, Hong Kong, and along its border with India.

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