News24

Japan wants peaceful end to island row

2012-10-19 22:13

Berlin - Japan's foreign minister said here on Friday that his country was seeking to resolve peacefully a territorial row with China after Beijing held naval and air drills in the area.

Koichiro Gemba told reporters during a visit to the German capital that Japan wanted to avoid an escalation in the long-running dispute and called for further dialogue with China.

"What I can say here is that ultimately we are aiming for a peaceful solution based on international law," he said through an interpreter at a joint press conference with his German counterpart Guido Westerwelle.

"We must expand the dialogue in Japan-China relations," he added.

China dispatched naval vessels, aircraft and helicopters to the East China Sea on Friday in its most confrontational act yet in a row that has chilled ties between Beijing and Tokyo.

Although it was unclear where in the East China Sea the exercises were taking place, the sea is home to tiny islets known as the Diaoyus in China and the Senkakus in Japan, which are administered by Tokyo but claimed by Beijing.

Tensions in the long-running territorial dispute have soared since the Japanese government's move last month to formally nationalise the islands.