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Japan, China to discuss East China Sea issue
Updated: 2006-03-06 07:26

Kenichiro Sasae, head of the Asianand Oceanian Affairs Bureau of the Japanese Foreign Ministry, said that Japan values the chance to consult with China on the East China Sea issue and is ready to hold serious talks with China on the issue.

Sasae, who led a negotiation delegation to attend the fourth round of consultation on the East China Sea issue, made the remark when he arrived at the hotel Sunday evening.

Japan will illustrate its consistent position on the issue and expects China to propose "constructive", "positive" ideas on the issue.

However, the Japanese diplomat stressed that Japan's position on the issue remains "unchanged".

According to Nobuyori Kodaira, director general of the Natural Resources and Energy Agency, who is also included in the negotiation delegation, Japan has conducted consultations with the Chinese side during Japanese Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Toshihiro Nikai's China visit two weeks ago.

Japan already made a new proposal in the third round of the consultation and hopes to have serious consultation with China based on a possible proposal made by China, Kodaira said.

Kodaira revealed that Japan would also probably consult with China on other issues including the six-party talks on Monday morning.

The fourth round of consultation on the East China Sea issue is scheduled on March 6-7 in Beijing. The consultation will be held between Sasae and his Chinese counterpart Hu Zhengyao, director ofthe Asian Department of Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Since Oct. 2004, China and Japan have convened three rounds of talks on the East China Sea issue.

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