China's "indisputable sovereignty" over the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea must berespected by Japan, China said on Wednesday, as fishery administration ships arrived inwaters near the islands for the first time since Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Nodaannounced a plan on Saturday to "nationalize" them.
The Japanese media have slammed the Noda cabinet for using the islands to divert publicfocus from domestic politics.
Noda should engage in damage control to avoid further harming ties with China, analysts said.
Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met with his Japanese counterpart Koichiro Gemba in PhnomPenh on Wednesday, where he reaffirmed China's stance on the Diaoyu Islands. Yang urgedTokyo to "get back to managing differences through dialogue and reconciliation''.
Tokyo was also asked to eliminate issues that continue to haunt diplomatic ties. This yearmarks the 40th anniversary of bilateral ties since they were normalized in 1972.
Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara initiated a campaign in April to "buy" the islands. The movedrew protests from Beijing and stirred up tension.
The Tokyo prefectural government said it had already collected more than 1.3 billion yen($16.3 million) in donations.
Feng Zhaokui, a Japanese studies researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences,said Noda's recent remarks over the islands risked increasing tension.
"Japan needs a statesman to properly handle the country's overall interests and the biggerpicture, yet some politicians have been acting out of the interests of themselves or theirparties," Feng said.
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