Manila: Japan has held discussions with Philippine diplomats on resolving South China Sea territorial disputes, wading into a contentious debate involving China.
Japan is not party to the conflicting claims in the sea and its entry into the dispute is likely to enrage Beijing.
China claims the area its entirety, which is also claimed in part by five other countries.
A Philippine official says diplomats have discussed in meetings in Tokyo the need to ensure that the disputes be resolved peacefully in accordance with international law.
The official spoke anonymously because he is not authorised to talk to reporters.
Japanese Ambassador Toshinao Urabe today said that Japan has an interest in ensuring the vast ocean remains safe and open to commerce.