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Japan's navy went on alert on Wednesday after an unidentified submarine was spotted inside the country's waters.
Surveillance aircraft detected the submarine near the southern island of Okinawa, and it left soon afterwards.
Officials said the government was trying to establish the vessel's country of origin, although Japanese media said it was possibly Chinese.
Japanese officials refused to speculate on the submarine's nationality. But Japan's Kyodo news agency quoted defence officials as saying it was a Chinese nuclear-powered sub.
So a sub is in the wrong place. Its not as if anyone who has them is shooting at each other. It would have to be doing a lot more than just being there to warrant attacking it.