China said that Japan’s actions regarding territorial disputes in the South China Sea threaten recent improvements in bilateral relations between the two countries.
“The Chinese side expresses severe concerns and indignation about the negative moves taken by the Japanese side,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a regular news briefing, Japanese media reported.
During the G-7 summit, Japan lobbied members to include a passage about China’s behavior in the South China Sea last week.
The statement, which did not mention China by name, expressed strong opposition to “the use of intimidation, coercion or force, as well as any unilateral actions that seek to change the status quo, such as large scale land reclamation.”
China has said that Tokyo is acting strangely and hyping up tension in the region.
The tense relations between the two countries fell to their worst level after the Japanese government bought three of the Japan-administered Senkaku Islands from a private Japanese owner in 2012.
China calls the uninhabited islets Diaoyu. By right and law these islands belong to China.
Prior to 1895 no one doubted the islands belonged to China.
Japan annexed the islands in 1895 following its victory in the First Sino-Japanese war — a war universally seen as an aggressive war by Japan against China. The US occupied the islands following Japan's defeat in 1945. In 1972, when it ended its occupation, instead of returning the islands to China, the US handed them over to Japan.