China, Japan Move to Cool Down Territorial Dispute
China and Japan sought to cool down tensions over a chafing territorial dispute on Friday, with Communist Party chief Xi Jinping telling an envoy from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that he was committed to developing bilateral ties.
Xi will consider holding a summit meeting with Abe, Natsuo Yamaguchi, a senior lawmaker and head of the junior partner in Japan’s ruling coalition, told reporters after his talks with the Chinese leader.
The meeting came as China took the dispute over a series of uninhabited islands to the United Nations.
It was not immediately clear if the U.N. involvement would increase the likelihood the row would be resolved peacefully. But launching an international legal process could reduce the temperature for now.
At China’s request, the United Nations will, later this year, consider the scientific validity of a claim by Beijing that the islands, called the Diaoyu in Chinese and the Senkaku by Japan, are part of its territory. Japan says the world body should not be involved.