Shinzo Abe, the prime minister, angrily rejected Chinese denials that it had engaged military radars in the area as the escalating dispute between Tokyo and Beijing forced the Japanese foreign ministry call in the Chinese ambassador for a dressing down.
Statements issued in Beijing flatly denied its forces had engaged the offensive radar systems, dismissing the Japanese claims about the incident, which took place last month, as “against the facts”.
“We wish China to acknowledge it, apologise for it and make efforts to prevent it from recurring,” he said. “We have confirmed visually and by photographs and other means such details as whether the radar was directed this way.”
Mr Abe told parliament that China’s increasing aggression in the East China Sea around the Senkakus was forcing his government to adopt a “robust diplomatic response”.
Read the rest of the story: Japan demands apology from China over weapons-linked radar.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged China on Wednesday not to stoke tension over disputed East China Sea isles, a day after Japan said a Chinese vessel directed radar normally used to aim weapons at a target at a Japanese navy ship.
A Chinese government spokeswoman said she was not aware of the details of the incident, and focused instead on China’s stance that Japan should stop sending its ships into what China considers its territorial waters around the islands.
“The incident is a dangerous conduct that could have led to an unforeseeable situation. It is extremely regrettable that China carried out such a one-sided, provocative act when signs are emerging for dialogue,” Abe told parliament.
“I ask the Chinese side to return to the spirit of mutually beneficial, strategic relations and prevent the recurrence of an incident like this. I strongly ask them for restraints so that the situation will not escalate further.”
Read the rest of the story: Japan PM urges Chinese restraint after radar lock-on.
The United States has warned China about staking claim to the Japan owned Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, saying that it will oppose any unilateral action in this regard.
The warning came in light of the continued violation of Japan’s airspace and waters around the uninhabited islets by Chinese planes and ships.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in a meeting with Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, said Washington is obligated to defend the Senkaku islet group if it comes under attack under the bilateral security treaty between the US and Japan, the Japan Times reports.
Clinton added that the US has acknowledged Japan’s legal ownership of the Senkakus, although U.S. does not take a position on the ultimate sovereignty of the islands. Clinton also urged Tokyo and Beijing to resolve the dispute peacefully.
Japan purchased three of the main Senkaku islets in 2011, whose sovereignty is contested by both China and Taiwan.
Insisting that the Senkakus are an integral part of Japan’s territory, Kishida said his government would not compromise on its long-standing position that no dispute exists over their sovereignty.
Kishida, however, hoped for reduced tensions and increased stability between China and Japan, after Clinton’s statement.
The World Bank announced it has slashed its economic growth forecast for Japan to 0.8 percent this year from an earlier estimate of 1.5 percent, due partly to the negative impact of Tokyo’s territorial dispute with Beijing.
“In Japan, the current dispute with China over the Senkaku Islands is sapping growth, while the countrys huge fiscal debt requires attention,” the World Bank said Tuesday in its latest Global Economic Prospects report.
“Assuming that relations with China improve during the course of 2013, output is expected to gradually strengthen, but to expand by only 0.8 percent in 2013, before strengthening toward 1.5 percent by the end of the forecast period,” the semiannual report said.
Read the rest of the story: World Bank cuts Japan estimate due to isle row.