BEIJING (AP) — Japan's ambassador to Beijing is returning to Tokyo for talks amid new tensions with China over disputed islands in the East China Sea.
Uichiro Niwa returned to Japan on Sunday to discuss recent Japan-China relations following an order from Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba. Niwa told reporters at Beijing airport that consultations would center on recent developments over the islands known as Senkaku in Japanese and Diaoyutai in Chinese. Japan controls the uninhabited islands, but China and Taiwan also claim sovereignty.
Some lawmakers have demanded Niwa be fired. Conservative lawmakers criticized him last month for indicating opposition to plans to nationalize the islands to strengthen Tokyo's claim to them. He said that could seriously harm Japan-China relations.
China sent ships to the area last week in a show of defiance.