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Rising nationalism in China and Japan is fueling the dispute between China and Japan over a string of islands in the East China Sea, experts say. Yet most expect the two economic powers to resolve their differences.

The territorial dispute over the barren mini-islands in East Asia has further escalated after China dispatched two patrol boats to the islands in response to a move by Japan to buy three of them from a private Japanese owner.

Japancontrols the uninhabited but resource-rich islands, which are also claimed by Taiwan. On Tuesday, the government confirmed a deal to buy three of the islands,...

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