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Japan weighs Senkaku options as Chinese coast guard gets new power

Nightmare scenario pushes lawmakers to consider new rules for SDF deployment

Japan Coast Guard vessel PS206 Houou sails in front of Uotsuri island, one of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.    © Reuters

TOKYO -- Here is the nightmare scenario for the Japan Coast Guard.

A Chinese fishing boat breaks down near Japan's Senkaku Islands. China, which claims the islands and calls them the Diaoyu, instructs its own coast guard to protect the boat. The fishermen land on one of the islands to wait for repair parts, ignoring warnings by Japan. Amid tension and confusion, alarmed China coast guard personnel start firing at their Japanese counterparts.

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