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China/Japan in talks to resolve islands row

Friday, October 12, 2012    

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TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — Japanese and Chinese vice ministers will hold talks soon in a bid to resolve a bitter row over disputed islands that has severely damaged ties between the Asian giants, a report said.

Senior officials from the Japanese and Chinese foreign ministries agreed at a meeting in Tokyo yesterday that the discussions would take place, Japan's Kyodo news agency reported, citing the Japanese foreign ministry.

The report did not say when the talks would take place, or which vice ministers would be involved.

It came the same day that IMF chief Christine Lagarde said China would "lose out" by not sending its finance minister and central bank chief to global economic talks in Japan this week.

Their withdrawal from the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank has been interpreted as the latest sign of the high tensions between Beijing and Tokyo over the East China Sea islands.

The islands, known as the Senkakus in Japan and Diaoyus in China, are administered by Tokyo but claimed by Beijing.

The dispute, which has rumbled for decades, flared in August and September with landings by nationalists from both sides and the subsequent nationalisation of the islands by Tokyo.

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