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International relations

Submarine supremacy: China and Japan spar beneath the surface

Stealthy undersea vessels roam each other's backyards

Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force sent the Kuroshio submarine for naval drills in the South China Sea in September.   © Kyodo

TOKYO -- While China prepares to welcome Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to Beijing next week, the two nations are engaged in a military chess game beneath the surface, in the Asian seas.

Competing for maritime supremacy, both sides are flexing their submarine warfare capabilities in each other's backyards. Japan recently announced for the first time that it had conducted undersea drills in the South China Sea. This follows China's participation in Russian drills held in the Sea of Japan last year.

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