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Japan Sends Senior Diplomat to China to Discuss Disputes

Japan's Vice Foreign Minister Akitaka Saiki (file)
Japan's Vice Foreign Minister visits China Monday and Tuesday for talks with senior officials amid a long-running dispute between Tokyo and Beijing about ownership of an island chain in the East China Sea.

Akitaka Saiki's trip comes as territorial tensions and maritime skirmishes have all but frozen relations between the two countries.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters last week that he hoped to hold top-level talks with China over territorial disputes surrounding the resource-rich Senkaku islands, called the Diaoyus in China.

Japan recently raised its assessment of the risk of China's military buildup and maritime assertiveness, after Beijing repeatedly sent government vessels into the disputed waters.