UN leader calls for China-Japan talks on islands dispute

UNITED NATIONS, United States (AFP) - UN leader Ban Ki Moon on Tuesday called on China and Japan to negotiate an end to mounting territorial tensions, a spokesman said.

While not being drawn on the China-Japan dispute over islands in the East China Sea, Mr Ban said tensions should be handled "amicably through dialogue and negotiations."

"There are quite a number of territorial disputes in Northeast Asia and in the Asia Pacific region," the United Nations (UN) spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters when asked about the islands standoff at a briefing.

"The secretary general expects those disputes should be resolved amicably through dialogue and negotiations and in full accordance with international laws."

"The parties concerned should approach those issues with goodwill and a constructive spirit," he added.

Japan and other governments have rejected China's move to declare an "Air Defence Identification Zone" in an area of the East China Sea that included islands at the centre of a longstanding battle between Japan, which occupies the islands, and China.