(AFP) – Jul 16, 2012
BEIJING — Japan's ambassador to China returned to Beijing on Monday, after being summoned to Tokyo for crisis talks over disputed waters in the East China Sea, an embassy official said.
Uichiro Niwa returned to Beijing a day after arriving in Japan's capital to discuss the diplomatic fallout over a group of islands known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyu in Chinese.
Tensions between the two countries rose last week after Chinese vessels twice entered waters near the resource-rich islands, which are claimed by Beijing and Tokyo.
Japan lodged two formal complaints with Beijing last week and summoned the Chinese ambassador to Japan in protest.
Niwa returned to Beijing to "report on the situation" regarding the islands, the embassy official said, citing Japan's Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba.
Relations between China and Japan reached a low point in 2010 when Japan arrested the captain of a Chinese fishing boat which entered waters near the islands.
The latest spat between the two countries appears to have been triggered by a Japanese plan to buy the islands from the family which Tokyo recognises as the legitimate owner.
Niwa faced criticism from Japanese conservatives after he said he opposed the plan.
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