2012-09-28 19:19:11

Japan, China bring islands dispute to UN

Japan and China have traded accusations at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. The two nations are locked in a dispute over islands held by Japan. Meanwhile, the United States has called for "cool heads" to prevail.

Speaking at the U.N., China's foreign minister accused Japan of stealing Chinese islands, while Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said international law should decide disputes — although Japan doesn't acknowledge there is one over the tiny uninhabited Senkaku Islands.

Earlier China drew up a chart showing what it calls its territorial waters around the islands, submitting that to the UN,
plus a separate tectonic claim that the seabed around the islands
is part of China's land mass.

Japan rejected the maritime chart as legally invalid.

The U.S. secretary of state – meeting China's foreign minister –
said cool heads should prevail, a U.S. official said.

But the dispute has damaged relations: events this week commemorating 40 years of diplomatic ties between Tokyo and Beijing are now cancelled, and several Japanese carmakers are halting production in China for a time amid a drop in demand.

Listen to Alastair Wanklyn, reporting from Tokyo: RealAudioMP3

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