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TOKYO: Japan and China held high-level talks at the weekend as they seek ways to repair relations damaged by a territorial row over islands in the East China Sea, Tokyo said yesterday.
Relations between the two countries have sunk to new lows in a vicious spat over a group of uninhibited, Tokyo-administered islands, called the Senkakus in Japan and the Diaoyus in China.
Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Chikao Kawai visited Shanghai over the weekend and met China’s Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun to discuss the island dispute, local media reported.
The meeting was “part of communications that go on between Japan and China at various levels and in various forms about the present situation over the Senkaku islands,” said top government spokesman Osamu Fujimura.
Fujimura declined to confirm further details, including who took part.
The two officials from Japan and China also met in Beijing last month.
S Korea urges North to give up military policy
Seoul: South Korean Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan yesterday urged North Korea’s new leadership to give up its military-first policy and put resources that it lavishes on the armed services toward improving the livelihood of its own people, Yonhap news agency reported.
Analysts and government officials in South Korea have searched for any signs of economic reform since the North’s new leader Kim Jong-un succeeded his late father, Kim Jong-il, last December. Still, they are sceptical over whether the young Kim would be serious about opening up the communist country to foreign influences outside of his control.
The South Korean foreign minister said it was too early to judge the direction in which the young Kim is trying to take North Korea.