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Japan FM urges calmness in diplomacy with China

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December 28, 2012 08:43 AM EST | AP


TOKYO — Japan's new foreign minister says both Tokyo and Beijing should calm down and communicate in order to mend their souring relations.

Fumio Kishida says the first step toward reconciliation is to communicate. He said he is willing to hold talks with his Chinese counterpart.

Kishida said he is aware that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government has a right-wing image. He told reporters Friday that he will make sure to avoid misunderstandings.

Relations between Japan and China deteriorated this year after Tokyo nationalized islands in the East China Sea that it effectively controls but are also claimed by China.

Abe took office Wednesday following his conservative Liberal Democratic Party's sweeping election victory Dec. 16.