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Japan holds talks with China despite island claim row

China's Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, center on left, talks with Japanese counterpart Hirofumi Nakasone, center on right, during a meeting at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing. (AP)


Japan's foreign minister met with his Chinese counterpart in seeking closer cooperation on North Korean disarmament, the global financial crisis and a joint gas reserve project, despite a diplomatic spat over disputed territory in the East China Sea.

Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone said the two countries 'which have the world's second and third largest economies' should lead regional initiatives to battle the financial crisis and stimulate trade, Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kazuo Kodama said. "As Japan-China relations are now confronted with some difficulties, I would like to communicate with China on how to advance the ties," Nakasone told Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, according to China's official Xinhua News Agency.