Japan’s Prime Minister said Friday that countries in Asia are concerned China is attempting to change the region’s balance of power through force, and that it wouldn’t be tolerated.
“I’ve realized that Japan is expected to exert leadership not just on the economic front, but also in the field of security in the Asia-Pacific,” Shinzo Abe told the Wall Street Journal. He also stressed it is important to “not shut the door to dialogue just because of one issue.”
Abe and Chinese leader Xi Jinping shook hands at a summit in Indonesia weeks ago, but haven’t held formal talks since Abe took office last December. One reason for the rift between the countries is a dispute over islands in the East China Sea—Japan administers them and calls them the Senkakus, but China, referring to them as the Diaoyus, claims them as its own.