China warns Japan over islands row

Beijing, Sep 11 (IANS) China Wednesday accused Japan of escalating provocation against Chinese sovereignty and said Japan must bear the consequences for it.

China's reaction came after Japan Tuesday stated that it was considering a move to station government workers on the disputed group of islands, known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and the Diaoyu islands in China.

"The Chinese government has an unshakeable resolve and determination to protect the country's territorial sovereignty and will not tolerate any provocative acts of escalation over China's sovereignty," the Global Times quoted Hong Lei, spokesman of the Chinese foreign ministry, as saying.

"If the Japanese side recklessly makes provocative moves, it will have to accept the consequences," Hong said.

The islands row escalated after Japan tightened security around the disputed islands and restated its ownership claims, a year after it nationalised the islands.

China described Japan's move as invalid and has increased its surveillance by sending several patrol ships around the troubled waters.

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Tuesday that it was "extremely regrettable" that Chinese government ships had repeatedly entered what he described as the country's territorial waters, the Global Times report said.

Suga said Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was making "resolute but calm responses to defend its territory, territorial waters and airspace decisively".

He added that Japan would never make a concession on a matter of sovereignty.

Asked if Japan might station government workers on the islands, Suga said: "That is one option."

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