China, Japan talk after days of tension over disputed islands

Last Updated: Monday, September 24, 2012 - 17:51

Beijing: After weeks of tension over the purchase of disputed islands by Japan from a private owner, Beijing and Tokyo Monday settled for quite diplomacy even as the coast guard ships of both the countries patrolled the waters of the islets avoiding direct confrontation.

Japan`s Deputy Foreign Minister Chikao Kawai, who arrived here today for a two-day visit, held talks with Chinese officials.

Sources here said the talks is being held to work out a way forward for both the countries to reduce the tensions to prevent flourishing USD 345 billion trade between the two countries from getting affected.

This is the highest-level contact between the two since tensions spiralled between the two countries after China took strong exception to Japan buying the `Senkaku` islands called as `Diaoyu` isles by Japan from a private owner early this month.

Japan argued that it bought the islands to prevent plans by right wing politicians from buying them to begin construction there, while China alleged that it amounted to Tokyo nationalising the islands in violation of decades` long informal agreement to leave the dispute for future generations to settle.

China was gripped by well orchestrated protests before Japanese diplomatic missions for days resulting in shut down of several Japanese businesses in China.

China had also put off celebrations to mark 40 years of diplomatic relations.

There is however a change after the visit of US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta to both the countries last week as the demonstrations died down overnight and Japanese businesses returned to normal in most part of China.

Chinese police also announced arrests of about 24 people who indulged in violence against Japanese businesses.

Asked about the talks, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a media briefing here said today that "as requested by the Japanese, China agreed to receive Kawai to visit from September 24 to 25".

Kawai held talks with his counterparts Zhang Zhijun. The talks focussed on bilateral relations, especially on the issue concerning the Diaoyu Islands.

"During the consultations, the Chinese will state its solemn position on the Diaoyu Islands issue, urge the Japanese to correct its wrongdoing and make efforts to improve ties," Hong said.

While the talks were on, China said two of its marine surveillance ships continued patrol the Islands in accordance with relevant laws of China, the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) said here today.

Reports from Tokyo also said the Japanese Coast Guard vessels too are conducting similar patrols.

Despite warning each others, the two sides avoided direct confrontation.

PTI



First Published: Monday, September 24, 2012 - 17:51

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