Japan's Kishi Expresses "Strong Concerns" over Senkakus

Politics

Tokyo, Dec. 15 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi, in a teleconference Monday with his Chinese counterpart, Wei Fenghe, expressed Japan's "strong concerns" about Chinese government ships' repeated intrusions into Japan's territorial waters near the Senkaku Islands in the southernmost Japan prefecture of Okinawa.

The Japanese minister strongly urged China to "refrain from action that could escalate tensions."

Meanwhile, the Chinese minister made remarks based on Beijing's claim of sovereignty over the East China Sea islands, called Diaoyu in China, according to sources with access to the talks.

It was the first time for the two countries' defense ministers to hold talks since Kishi took office in September. The teleconference, initially planned to last an hour, actually ran for 95 minutes.

The two ministers agreed to accelerate efforts to set up a hotline based on a bilateral air and maritime communication mechanism for avoiding unintended clashes in the East China Sea.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press