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Beijing on Friday urged the new Japanese government to overcome difficulties in its relations with China.
Vice-Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun urged Tokyo to "face up to history and reality" and strive to get bilateral ties back to normal.
Zhang made the remarks while addressing the Diaoyu Islands issue in a speech at the 8th Lanting Forum.
The Forum, initiated by the ministry, is a platform for communication and exchanges between government, the business community, academia and the public. It is named after Lanting (the Blue Hall) at the ministry.
Sino-Japanese relations hit their lowest point in years in September after Tokyo illegally "purchased" the Diaoyus, which have belonged to China for centuries.
New Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took over on Wednesday. The cabinet he has unveiled, which includes ultra-conservative politicians, has raised concern from China and South Korea.
China hopes the countries concerned will work together toward peaceful settlement of the disputes, Zhang said.
"While China is firm in its resolve to follow the path of peaceful development, it is equally firm in its resolve to uphold its territorial sovereignty and legitimate rights and interests," he said.