TOKYO, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda will push for what he called the principle of rule of law over territorial disputes at the annual meeting of the UN General Assembly, local media reported Monday.
"I want to convey the importance of preventing conflicts on the basis of the rule of law," Noda told reporters in the capital before leaving for New York.
His visit came as Japan's bilateral ties with two its neighbors, China and South Korea, have soured over competing sovereignty claims for two chains of small islands.
Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba will also accompany Noda to attend the UN-related meetings and is seeking to arrange talks with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi on the sidelines, possibly on Wednesday, in a bid to mend frayed relations, according to Kyodo report.
Relations between the two countries have fallen to their lowest ebb in years since Japan's "purchase" earlier this month of parts of the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea, sparking mass anti- Japan protests in many Chinese cities in the past week.
The planned emphasis on the rule of law in Noda's speech Wednesday is allegedly aimed at keeping China in check over its assertiveness at sea and serving notice to South Korea over its reluctance to join Japan in bringing their territorial dispute to the International Court of Justice.
During his stay in New York, Noda is expected to meet with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.
But Noda has no plans to meet with his Chinese and South Korean counterparts before returning to Japan on Thursday, diplomatic sources said.
No meeting has been nailed down with U.S. President Barack Obama, who is now busy with his reelection campaign.
Noda's appearance at the annual UN gathering of leaders and ministers of member states, set to run Tuesday through Oct. 1, is his second as prime minister, following his debut last September.