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International relations

Japanese submarine conducts drill in South China Sea

Chinese reaction relatively muted with Abe planning October visit

Maritime Self-Defense Force submarine Kuroshio met up with three other vessels in the South China Sea for drills last week. (Photo from Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force website)   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- A Japanese submarine conducted a drill in the South China Sea alongside three other vessels, the Maritime Self-Defense Force said in a rare statement Monday as it aims to curb China's militarization of the region.

"Japan has been performing submarine exercises in the South China Sea since 15 years ago. We did so last year and the year before that," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on a TV program on Monday. "The purpose of the Self-Defense Force drills is to improve their skill. It is not intended for specific countries." 

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