TOKYO, Sept. 26 (Xinhua) -- Shinzo Abe, newly elected chief of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), called on Japan and China Wednesday to control the tension over the Diaoyu Islands, saying the ties between the two neighbors were "inseverable."
In response to a question posed by a Xinhua correspondent at a press conference, Abe said: "China was the first country I chose to visit as a newly elected prime minister six years ago, because I think Japan-China relations are of great importance."
"Japan has benefited from its investment in and exports to China," he said. "And Japan's economic growth needs the Chinese market."
"Meanwhile, Japan's investments in China have also boosted local employment," Abe said.
"In this sense, Japan-China ties are inseverable," he said.
Recognizing the interdependence between the two nations, Abe said, the two sides needed to bring the situation concerning the disputed islands under control, even though their national interests clash.
Abe, 58, served as the LDP chief and Japanese Prime Minister between September 2006 and September 2007.