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Call for peaceful dispute resolution

Japan and southeast Asian countries have called for freedom of the air and sea and urged that disputes be resolved peacefully, amid concerns about Chinese military assertiveness that has raised regional tensions.

China's recent announcement of an air defence zone that covers islands in the East China Sea, which are controlled by Tokyo but also claimed by Beijing, triggered protests from Japan, the United States and South Korea. China is also locked in territorial rows with other Asian nations over wide swathes of the South China Sea.

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