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Wednesday, 16th May 2012
In General Japan News,

Japan and China discuss dispute islands

High-level talks are taking place between Japanese and Chinese officials in a bid to resolve a long-standing dispute about the territorial ownership of islands in the East China Sea.

The sovereign claim to the uninhabited islands, called Senkaku by Japan and Diaoyu by China, has long been an area of contention for the two nations.

The US transferred administration of the islands to Japan in 1971, but China has since staked a claim to their ownership.

Foreign and defence ministry officials are now meeting in the Hangzhou, China, to discuss the future of the chain of islands, which are rich in natural resources.

Both sides are keen to avoid future disputes. Two years ago, diplomatic relations between the two countries hit an all-time low after a Chinese trawler's captain was arrested by Japan after an encounter with the coastguard around the islands.

"China and Japan reached consensus in December to set up a China-Japan high-level consultation mechanism on maritime affairs," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said during a press conference.

Written by Graham McPherson

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