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ASIA > Japan’s China ambassador returns for consultations

BEIJING - The Associated Press

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In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, a Chinese patrol ship, right, encounters a Japanese Coast Guard vessel near the disputed islands in the East China Sea, called the Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, Wednesday, July 11, 2012. AP photo

In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, a Chinese patrol ship, right, encounters a Japanese Coast Guard vessel near the disputed islands in the East China Sea, called the Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, Wednesday, July 11, 2012. AP photo

Japan’s ambassador to Beijing is returning to Tokyo for talks amid new tensions with China over disputed islands in the East China Sea.

Uichiro Niwa returned to Japan on Sunday to discuss recent Japan-China relations following an order from Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba. Niwa told reporters at Beijing airport that consultations would center on recent developments over the islands known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyutai in Chinese. Japan controls the uninhabited islands, but China and Taiwan also claim sovereignty.
 
Some lawmakers have demanded Niwa be fired. Conservative lawmakers criticized him last month for indicating opposition to plans to nationalize the islands to strengthen Tokyo’s claim to them. He said that could seriously harm Japan-China relations.
 
China sent ships to the area last week in a show of defiance.

July/15/2012

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