ISE-SHIMA (Japan), (Sputnik) – The South China Sea has recently seen increased tensions between Washington and Beijing as both try to reaffirm their dominance in the region. US air and naval patrols persistently challenge China's claims over territories disputed with Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines and Taiwan.
"We are concerned about the situation in the East and South China Seas, and emphasize the fundamental importance of peaceful management and settlement of disputes," the declaration says.
Japan and China have rival claims to the Tokyo-controlled Senkaku islands in the East China Sea. The conflict became aggravated in 2012 when China sent warships to the waters around the islands after Japan claimed to have purchased them from private owners.