Chinese and Japanese foreign ministers held a meeting to discuss the contentious dispute over a group of islands in the East China Sea, with neither showing any signs of backing down, The Guardian reported. Japan’s minister, Koichira Gembo, said that the discussions held on the sidelines of the UN were “tense” and urged China to exercise restraint, according to Japanese media. His Chinese counterpart, Yang Jieshi, argued that the Diaoyu islands, known as the Senkaku in Japanese, have been “sacred territory since ancient times,” Chinese media reported. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda additionally spoke to the UN General Assembly about the disputes, stating, “Any attempt to realize one’s claim through force or intimidation goes against the wisdom of humanity and should never be accepted.” Tensions have escalated in recent weeks following Japan’s decision to buy the uninhabited islands from their private owner, sparking anti-Japanese protests across China.
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