Japan said on Wednesday that it was ready to come to official talks with China, alluding to a “window of dialogue” to hold defense ministry meetings. This comes in the wake of Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stating that Tokyo will expel, “by force” if needed, any Chinese landing on territories under dispute.
“We have the window of dialogue with China certainly open through diplomatic channels,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, the government’s top spokesman, said during a press conference. Suga confirmed that the two disputing nations were indeed trying to arrange talks, following reports that said China and Japan were planning a meeting regarding national defense issues later this month. As of the moment, tensions have been escalated yet again by recent events. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Abe vowed to “expel by force” any Chinese who lands on the islands. This was a reaction to eight Chinese government-owned vessels breaking the 12-nautical-mile zone and sailing into Japanese territorial waters, which was itself a reaction to a flotilla of 10 boats filled with Japanese nationalists “surveying” the islands.
To further complicate matters, nearly 170 Japanese ministers visited the controversial Yasukuni war shrine in Tokyo. This was seen as an insult to China and South Korea, as the shrine honored convicted war criminals and is considered to be a symbol of Japan’s imperialist past. If the rumored talks do continue, it will be the first break in escalating situations between the two disputing nations since Tokyo’s nationalized a part of the islands and sparked anti-Japanese rallies in China in September. The Japanese prime minister has himself previously stated that he was open to talks with Beijing, and so the region awaits if these negotiations will take place and lead to an improvement in their relations.
[via Yahoo News]