SHANGHAI

AFP

A video game backed by China’s military that lets players fight enemy forces in islands disputed between Beijing and Tokyo was set for release Thursday.

“Glorious Mission Online”, China’s answer to “Call of Duty”, marks the 86th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

The game, an online version of an earlier first-person shooter used by the PLA to train troops, features the East China Sea islands known as Diaoyu by Beijing and Senkaku by Tokyo.

Tensions have been mounting over the islands, which are claimed by China but controlled by Japan. Beijing’s vessels regularly sail into the disputed waters and, according to state media, tell Japanese ships they are encroaching on its territory.

A press release for the game says: “Players... will fight alongside Chinese armed forces and use weapons to tell the Japanese that ‘Japan must return our stolen territory!” Images from the game’s website are labelled “Guard the Diaoyu islands”, and a trailer posted online features shots of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.