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Japan to protest to North Korea via China over missile launch

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan will make a strong protest to North Korea through diplomatic routes via China, its top cabinet official said on Sunday, after the isolated state fired a ballistic missile into the sea off its east coast.

Speaking to reporters, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said North Korea's missile launch, timed to coincide with a summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, was a clear act of provocation to Japan and the region.

As Pyongyang's main diplomatic ally, China is key to any effort to rein in North Korea's missile program.

(Reporting by Ayai Tomisawa; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)