Shinsuke Sugiyama, head of the Asian and Oceanic Affairs bureau is reportedly set to meet with Chinese government officials to discuss territorial issues that have soured relationships between the two nations. They are also including the recent North Korean nuclear test on the agenda.
Sugiyama will be raising the Japanese government’s concern over a Chinese patrol ship that allegedly directed weapons-related radar on a Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force vessel. China has denied any knowledge of this action, despite Japan saying they have evidence to the contrary. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had called the action “provocative” and “dangerous,” given the state of tension between the two countries as of late. The two are currently involved in a territorial row over the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands and observers say that this could easily lead to a military clash that would be disastrous for the Asia Pacific region.
Another issue that will be discussed is China’s response to the North Korean nuclear test conducted last week, in spite of overwhelming international opposition. Japan will try to keep China “onside” as the United States and the United Nations prepare to impose more sanctions on the reclusive state for their actions. China, considered to be North Korea’s only staunch ally, has surprisingly expressed “strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition” over the nuclear tests.[ via Channel News Asia ]