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U.S. Navy Admiral John Richardson (L), the U.S. chief of naval operations, waits for Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe before their talks at Abe's official residence in Tokyo October 15, 2015. REUTERS/Yoshikazu Tsuno/Pool

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Navy's top officer said on Thursday that he would like to see more international participation in freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea.

"I think greater international participation there would be something to look forward to as sort of a strategic approach to that," Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson said while speaking at an event, referring to the South China Sea.

On Wednesday, the U.S. commander in the Asia Pacific region said the United States would likely carry out new freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea soon.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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