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China's Defence Minister has said he hopes a dispute with Japan over East China Sea islands claimed by both countries could be "resolved peacefully", but added Beijing reserved the right to take "further action".
Liang Guanglie told reporters after meeting his US counterpart, Leon Panetta: "... That being said, we still hope for a peaceful and negotiated solution to this issue and we hope to work together and work well with the Japanese government properly handling this dispute".
Well-known Japanese companies have been targeted by Chinese protesters, over a diplomatic dispute on the ownership of islands in the East China Sea.
Several firms have halted some of their operations in the country and recalled workers, sending Japanese share prices falling and prompting a warning from credit rating agency Fitch that the situation could hurt some auto and tech firms' creditworthiness. The companies include:
- Toyota Motor Corp
- Honda Motor Co
- Mitsubishi Motors
- Fast Retailing
- Hitachi Construction Machinery
Japanese activists have been taking part in a rally over a dispute of the ownership of islands in the East China Sea. Meanwhile anti-Japan demonstrations have intensified in China in response to the government's announcement of "nationalising" the Diaoyu Islands.
US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta reiterated a call for China and Japan for restraint in their dispute over ownership of a group of islands in the East China Sea. Panetta told reporters in Beijing:
"With respect to these current tensions, we are urging calm and restraint by all sides and encourage them to maintain open channels of communication in order to resolve these disputes diplomatically and peacefully".
A spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry has described the landing of two people thought to be Japanese on a group of islands claimed by both China and Japan as "gravely provocative".
Chinese protesters held demonstrations outside the Japanese embassy in Beijing today to mark the 81st anniversary of the invasion of northern China.
Tensions have been rising between the two countries in recent days over the disputed ownership of a chain of gas-rich islands in the East China Sea.
The Japanese motor firm Mitsubishi has said it will halt operations at one of its factories in China today following anti-Japanese demonstrations in the country.
Yamaha Motor Company also said it will suspend operations at four Chinese plants in Hunan and Jiangsu provinces.
There have been a number of protests in response to a diplomatic spat between China and Japan over a set of disputed islands in East China Sea.
US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has called for "calm and restraint" from both China and Japan. The Financial Times (£) says that on the first leg of a week-long Asian tour he said:
“It is in everybody’s interests – everybody’s interests – for Japan and China to maintain good relations and to find a way to avoid further escalation.”
Japanese car maker Nissan is suspending production in China for two days following the wave of protests against Japan.
Latest ITV News reports
Footage of Chinese protesters surrounding the US Ambassador to China's car in Beijing has emerged, filmed by the dissident artist Ai Weiwei.
Anti-Japan protests reignited across China today, the sensitive anniversary marking Toyko's occupation of the country.