21 Sep 2012

Japan pulls out of Sevens over islands

11:03 pm on 21 September 2012

Japan has pulled out of the second leg of the Asian rugby Sevens series in Shanghai amid a worsening political crisis with China over a group of disputed islands.

The long-standing dispute over the uninhabited islands in the East China Sea escalated earlier this week when two Japanese activists landed on one of the islands.

Calling that provocative, Beijing lodged a complaint with Tokyo and said it reserved the right to take further action, Reuters reports.

The Chinese have also withdrawn their badminton players from this week's Japan open while a Japanese cycling team has been kicked out of a race in China.