China accused Japan of "severe provocation" after the Japanese government announced it was taking over the management of a lighthouse built several years ago by a right-wing nationalist group on a small disputed group of islands. In a statement on its website the foreign ministry in Beijing said it had formally protested the move to the Japanese, reiterating China's claims to sovereignty over the islands, known to Chinese as the Diaoyu islands and to Japanese as Senkaku. The islands provide access to rich fishing grounds and possible oil deposits.
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