Kenichiro Sasae, head of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, 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 it.
Sasae, who is leading the Japanese delegation for the fourth round of consultation on the East China Sea issue, is in Beijing for the talks scheduled for March 6 and 7. Sasae will meet with his Chinese counterpart Hu Zhengyao, director of the Foreign Ministry's Department of Asian Affairs.
He said that Japan will illustrate its consistent position on the issue and expects China to propose 'constructive' and 'positive' ideas on it.
However, Sasae stressed that Japan's position on the issue remains 'unchanged'.
According to Nobuyori Kodaira, director-general of the Natural Resources and Energy Agency and a member of the Japanese delegation, Japan had held talks with China during the visit two weeks ago by Toshihiro Nikai, Japanese economy, trade and industry minister.
Further, Japan put forward a new proposal in the last round of consultations, and hopes to discuss another proposal likely to be made by China, Kodaira said.
Kodaira revealed that other topics that might be discussed include the six-party talks on the Korean Peninsular nuclear issue.
China and Japan have convened three rounds of talks on the East China Sea issue since October 2004.
(Xinhua News Agency March 6, 2006)