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PM-in-waiting says disputed islands are Japan's

Published on Dec 17, 2012 6:15 AM
 
Mr Shinzo Abe, the man set to become Japan's next prime minister, wasted no time after his election victory on Sunday in staking Tokyo's claim on islands at the centre of a dispute with China. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO (AFP) - Mr Shinzo Abe, the man set to become Japan's next prime minister, wasted no time after his election victory on Sunday in staking Tokyo's claim on islands at the centre of a dispute with China.

In one of his first broadcast interviews after the result the hawkish Mr Abe, of the winning Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), said Beijing had to make more effort to rub along well with Japan.

"Japan and China need to share the recognition that having good relations is in the national interests of both countries," he said. "China lacks this recognition a little bit. I want them to think anew about mutually beneficial strategic relations."

Tokyo and Beijing have been at loggerheads for decades over the sovereignty of a small chain of islands in the East China Sea. The dispute flared up badly in September after Tokyo nationalised islands that it calls the Senkakus, but China knows as the Diaoyus. Protests erupted across China and Japanese businesses suffered boycotts or attacks.

 
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