Japan's vice foreign minister to visit China to ease tensions

Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Akitaka Saiki will visit China for two days from Monday for talks aimed at easing tensions between the two countries over a territorial row, according to sources close to bilateral relations.

While his nominal purpose is to pay courtesy calls on senior Chinese officials as Japan's new vice foreign minister, Saiki hopes to confirm the need that both sides will calmly address the row over the Japanese-controlled Senkakus Islands, claimed as Diaoyu by China, in the East China Sea.

China is reluctant to hold summit talks with Japan, which put the uninhabited islands under state control last September despite fierce criticism from Beijing.