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Japan Protests to China After Ships Approach Disputed Islands

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TOKYO—Japan summoned China’s ambassador on Thursday after it said detected a submarine and a frigate in waters near islands held by Japan and claimed by China.

The protest set a discordant note for the New Year after signs in the latter part of 2017 that ties between Asia’s two economic giants were beginning to thaw. In November, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met Chinese President Xi Jinping in Vietnam, and Mr. Abe said the two sides were ready for a “new start.”

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