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Japan urged to face change on Diaoyu issue

By Zhang Yunbi  (Xinhua)

10:13, November 01, 2012

Tokyo's hard-line approach blocks progress in dialogue with Beijing

Beijing on Wednesday told Tokyo to face up to a major change in the Diaoyu Islands' situation, as Japan announced that Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda will elaborate on the country's territorial disputes at next week's Asia-Europe Meeting.

Observers said Japan's hard-line gestures and rhetoric on the heated islands dispute have not led to any major progress in its dialogue with Beijing, and publicity on the international stage will drag Tokyo deeper into deadlocked diplomacy with its neighbors.

Japan's Jiji Press News Agency said Noda will talk about "the solution to disputes in territorial land and waters" when he makes a speech during the two-day Asia Europe Meeting, which starts on Nov 5 in Vientiane, the Laotian capital.

Jiji said that in view of Japan's territorial disputes with China and South Korea, Noda's speech will emphasise points he made during the September UN General Assembly in New York.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Monday confirmed there is no plan for Chinese and Japanese leaders to meet during the summit in Laos.

Lu Yaodong, director of the Japanese diplomacy teaching and research section under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said: "Most of Japan's proposals that have been made public so far are not constructive, and it has just glossed over things without due sincerity."

Despite few major progress, Lu said it is essential to underscore China's strong desire to guard sovereignty in further talks. Meanwhile, Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba on Wednesday told reporters that now is not the right time for an official meeting between him and his Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi, aimed at improving ties with China, Kyodo News Agency reported.

Chinese surveillance ships on Wednesday continued to patrol waters off the Diaoyu Islands, which have belonged to China for centuries.

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