Graphic showing the disputed islands
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Disputed islands explained

4 December 2013 Last updated at 11:10 GMT

The BBC's Celia Hatton explains why China's announcement of a new air zone covering a small chain of islands claimed by both China and Japan has caused a diplomatic row.

The archipelago consists of five islands and three reefs. They are controlled by Japan after former owner Kunioki Kurihara sold them to the Japanese state in September 2012.