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FM: Japan's islands claims 'self-deception'

By Zhang Yunbi and Zhao Shengnan (China Daily)

08:31, October 31, 2012

Beijing on Tuesday hit back at claims by Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba that Tokyo was trying to calm tensions with Beijing over the Diaoyu Islands.

It branded Japan's "persistent defiance" in the territorial dispute as "self-deception".

Japan has denied that a territorial dispute exists over the islands, and Gemba said on Tuesday in Tokyo that his government is seeking to calm tensions with China in maintaining its position over the islands.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a daily news conference that Japan's defiance in the dispute is a total "self-deception". He criticized Tokyo for ignoring the previous bilateral consensus that the dispute be shelved.

Hong said that since Japan's illegal "purchase" of the islands in September, Sino-Japanese relations have witnessed a substantial change, and Beijing urged Tokyo to abandon its illusion of occupying the islands.

China and Russia, both in its territorial row with Japan, on Tuesday held talks on their relations with Japan. Both sides endorsed the importance of safeguarding post-war achievements and international order for sustaining regional and international peace and stability.

Japan illegally stole the islands at the end of 1895 Sino-Japanese War, and key post-war documents have returned the islands to China.

Lu Yaodong, director of the Japanese diplomacy teaching and research section under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Japan's "flashy language" for diplomacy and "easing tension" are aimed at bluffing the international community, and with little sincerity.

Lu said: "Tokyo's stance is not as soft as it seems, as hard-line action has been taken to escalate the territorial fray, including it hiking its budget to boost its regional maritime presence."

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