Japanese Foreign Minister and U.S. Defense Secretary have agreed that their governments must work together to prevent anti-Japanese protests in China from seriously damaging relations between Tokyo and Beijing.
Koichiro Gemba and Leon Panetta met in Tokyo on Monday and discussed escalating protests across China since the Japanese government nationalized the disputed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea on which China and Taiwan have also staked their claims.
Gemba said Japanese leaders would deal with the situation calmly and with a broad perspective. Panetta said he understood the Japanese position, and would ask the Chinese to show self-restraint, Japanese media reported.
Gemba and Panetta also exchanged views on the Takeshima islands in the Sea of Japan. The islands are claimed by Japan but controlled by South Korea whose President Lee Myung-bak visited the territory last month, straining Tokyo- Seoul relations.
Japan and South Korea have difficult issues to resolve, but Japan aims to address them calmly, Gemba said.
Gemba and Panetta agreed that the regional security alliance between Japan, the United States and South Korea remains important.
Gemba later told reporters it was regrettable that anti-Japanese protests in China had become unprecedentedly big and that some had turned violent inflicting damage on Japanese businesses. He urged Chinese government leaders to address the situation properly and maintain law and order.
by RTT Staff Writer
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