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China criticizes Japan PM over remarks on Crimea

BEIJING -- China on Friday berated Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for reportedly drawing an analogy between the Crimea crisis and a row between Beijing and Tokyo over disputed islands.

“The Japanese leader on the one hand made empty calls for improving the relationship with China, on the other hand smearing China on the international stage,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a regular briefing.

“These remarks this time show that once again what he has done cannot blind the eyes of the international community.”

Japan's Kyodo news agency reported that Abe told a radio station Thursday that he raised the issue of China's assertiveness at sea and in the air in regional territorial disputes at a meeting of Group of Seven (G7) leaders earlier this week in the Netherlands.

“What's happening in Crimea isn't merely an issue for this region (Europe), but it could happen in Asia,” Abe said, according to Kyodo.

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