Skooter reporting 09/24/12
Japan’s top diplomat was sent to China for talks as Chinese ships again entered waters close to islands both countries claim. Japan’s foreign ministry said Vice-Foreign Minister Chikao Kawai is in China to hold two days talks aimed at easing tensions between the two nations.
Japan has launched a protest over the ships, which sailed near islands called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. The disputed islands are controlled by Japan and accused China of intruding its territorial waters.
The quarrel between the two sides has been there for years but intensified in recent weeks after the Japanese government bought three of the East China Sea islands from their private Japanese owner.
Due to tensions between the two sides, on Sunday China cancelled a ceremony set for Thursday to mark 40 years of ties with Japan, including a group of Japanese business leaders who are to meet top Chinese officials annually since 1975, have also been cancelled due later this month.
Since Japan purchased the islands on Sept. 11, Chinese ships have been in and out of the vicinity of the disputed islands. China’s State Oceanic Administration was quoted by Xinhua news agency as saying, the two Chinese "marine surveillance ships" were making a "rights defence" patrol near the islands. It means that the boats were exercising “administrative jurisdiction” over the islands.
The Japanese coast guard said there was one Chinese fishing boat in the area. Meanwhile, dozens of fishing boats from Taiwan-which also claims the islands were also expected to arrive in the area by Tuesday, Taiwan’s Central News Agency reported.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda warned China Sunday that the continuing controversy could weaken China's economy. There have been several anti-Japan protests in Chinese cities these recent weeks. Japanese businesses were forced to halt or scale down operations such as Japanese supermarket operator Aeon and Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing had shut several stores in China, Toyota, Canon and Sony also suspended some production.