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Japan protests N Korean boat

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TOKYO (AFP) – Japan has lodged a protest with Pyongyang after one of its patrol vessels was chased by an apparently armed fishing boat believed to be from North Korea, the government said yesterday. The incident happened in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) and within Japan’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), which extends 200 nautical miles from the coast, Tokyo said.

The fisheries agency ship was on patrol when it was pursued by “a vessel of unknown origin which had what appeared to be a gun”, top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga told reporters.

“Given the high possibility that the vessel is linked to North Korea, we have lodged a strong protest through the embassies in Beijing,” said Mr Suga, who noted Japan had observed the ship’s crew and collected other information.

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