Top Japanese, Chinese diplomats meet on disputed isles
TOKYO (REUTERS) - Senior Japanese and Chinese diplomats have met to discuss a dispute over East China Sea islets that both countries claim, the Japanese government said today, underscoring willingness to talk despite a sharp deterioration in ties.
Sino-Japanese relations took a dive after the Japanese government bought the islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, from a private Japanese owner in September, triggering violent protests and calls for boycotts of Japanese products across China.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura confirmed talks between Tokyo and Beijing after domestic media reported that Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Chikao Kawai secretly met senior Chinese officials, probably including his counterpart, Zhang Zhijun, in Shanghai last week to discuss the dispute.
"I am aware of the reports. That was part of the communications going on between Japan and China in various forms and at various levels," Mr Fujimura told a regular news conference without giving details. "It just shows we are in constant contact at many levels."