BEIJING, March 9 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi on Saturday urged Japan to take real steps to correct its mistakes over the Diaoyu islands issue, and work with China to prevent the current tension from escalating or even "getting out of control."
"We urged Japan to make concrete efforts to improve its relations with China, and play a positive and responsible role to maintain the peace, stability and development in the region," Yang said at a press conference on the sidelines of the parliament's annual session.
The Chinese foreign minister reiterated China's position over the Diaoyu islands, saying the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands have been China's inherent territory since ancient times.
"The current situation has been caused by the Japanese side single-handedly," Yang said, noting that "the root cause of the Diaoyu islands issue lies in Japan's illegal seizure and occupation of China's territory."
He noted what the Japanese side has been doing violates China's territorial sovereignty, poses a challenge to the outcome of the victory of the Second World War and post-WWII international order, greatly damages China-Japan relations and has undermined the stability in this region as well.
"The firm measures taken by the Chinese side have shown the will and resolve of the Chinese government and the Chinese people to defend our territorial sovereignty," he said.
He said the Japanese side needs to face up to the reality, take real steps to correct its mistakes and work with China to properly handle and resolve the relevant issues through dialogue and consultations to prevent the situation from further escalation or even getting out of control.
He urged Japan to correctly recognize and reflect on the history and take that as an important foundation for the China-Japan relations.
The war of aggression waged by the Japanese militarists brought untold suffering to the people in China and other victimized Asian countries, Yang said, adding that only by respecting history and showing remorse to that part of history can Japan develop good relations with its Asian neighbors.
A long-term, sound and stable China-Japan relationship serves the fundamental interest of the two nations, he said.
"We are willing to promote the strategic and mutual beneficial China-Japan ties on the basis of the four political documents signed by the two countries."