Japan’s China Envoy Returns to Tokyo for Isles Talks, NHK Says

Japanese Ambassador Uchiro Niwa left China today to report to the government on recent developments concerning disputed islands in the East China Sea, public broadcaster NHK reported.

Niwa told reporters at a Beijing airport that he would discuss with Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba the recent intrusion of Chinese patrol ships into Japanese territorial waters, NHK said. Niwa said no schedule has been set for his return to Beijing.

Gemba told reporters in Vietnam yesterday that he wants to discuss the matter in person with Niwa, NHK said.

Calls by Bloomberg News to the Japanese embassy in Beijing and the Japanese Foreign Ministry in Tokyo were not answered.

The Senkaku islands, called Diaoyu in Chinese, are a flash point between the world’s second- and third-largest economies. Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara said in April he planned to buy three of the uninhabited islands from a private Japanese investor.

The Japanese government cautioned Niwa on June 7 for saying in an interview with the Financial Times that Ishihara’s plan could cause “an extremely grave crisis.”

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