Japan PM seeks calm talks over islands

Nov. 4, 2012 at 12:28 PM

TOKYO, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- Japan's prime minister left for an international summit Sunday saying he hoped cool heads would prevail in the ongoing dispute in the East China Sea.

Prime Minister Yoshihko Noda said he was anxious to sooth Japan's relationship with China and South Korea amid the disagreement over which country has jurisdiction over the Senkaku Islands.

"It all boils down to holding discussions in a calm manner through various channels to improve our relations," Noda told reporters prior to leaving for the Asia-Europe Meeting summit in Laos.

Nodo's conference agenda does not include any formal meetings with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, who will also be in attendance; however he is expected to press Japan's case for adhering to international law as the dispute is worked out, Japan's Kyodo news service.

Meanwhile, the Japanese Coast Guard said four Chinese maritime surveillance vessels entered the disputed waters around the Senkaku Islands Sunday.

Kyodo said it was the third consecutive day China had sent ships into the area claimed by Japan.

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