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China seizure of ship could hurt Japan business: Japan spokesman

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga speaks during an interview with Reuters in Tokyo February 15, 2014. To match interview JAPAN-
Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga speaks during an interview with Reuters in Tokyo February 15, 2014. To match interview JAPAN-

TOKYO (Reuters) - China's seizure of a ship owned by Japanese shipping firm Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd <9104.T> for allegedly failing to pay compensation stemming from a wartime contractual obligation is "extremely regrettable" and could hurt Japanese business there, Japan's top government spokesman said on Monday.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga also told a regular news conference that Japan was asking the Chinese government to provide information on the ship seizure and expected Beijing to take appropriate action.

Suga declined direct comment on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ritual offering to Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine, seen as a symbol of past Japanese militarism, but said the episode would have no impact on Abe's summit with U.S. President Barack Obama, who arrives in Japan on Wednesday for a state visit.

(Reporting by Kaori Kaneko; Writing by Linda Sieg; Editing by Dominic Lau)

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