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Chinese ships sail near disputed Japanese islands

(CNN) -- Three Chinese Coast Guard ships entered waters near a chain of islands claimed by both China and Japan in the East China Sea on Monday, according to authorities from both sides.

Japan controls the chain and calls them the Senkaku Islands, while China calls them the Diaoyu Islands.

The sailing comes just days after US Defense Secretary James Mattis reaffirmed America's commitment to defending Japan and its disputed islands.

According to Japanese broadcaster NHK, prote

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