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Clinton urges Japan and China to end dispute

By Glenn Kessler

UNITED NATIONS--Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton urged Japan and China on Thursday to agressively resolve their increasingly bitter martime dispute before it affects regional stability, her spokesman said.

Clinton made the plea in a meeting with new Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. After Maehara said Japan was handling its arrest of a Chinese fishing boat captain who collided with Japanese coast guard vessels in accordance with Japanese and international law, Clinton encouraged dialogue and the "hope that the issue can be resolved soon since relations between Japan and China are vitally important to regional stability," State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said.

Crowley said the United States was not seeking to mediate the dispute and has not taken a position either on the Japanese handling of the incident or on the competing claims to the islands where the incident took place. He said China and Japan are "two mature countries" which are "fully capable" of resolving the dispute themselves.

"Our sense is that neither side want to see the situation escalate" so that it results in "long term regional impact," Crowley said.

By Glenn Kessler  | September 23, 2010; 10:57 AM ET
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