BEIJING Chinese Communist Party Chief Xi Jinping said on Friday that China's position on a series of islands disputed with Japan is clear and consistent and urged Japan to co-operate in resolving the issue.
Japan should respect the feelings of the Chinese people and "correctly handle" historical problems, Xi told Natsuo Yamaguchi, a visiting lawmaker and head of the junior partner in Japan's ruling coalition.
"The Japanese side ought to face up to history and facts, take practical step and work hard with China to find an effective way to appropriately resolve and manage the issue via dialogue and consultations," Xi said, according to a statement on the Foreign Ministry's website.
The islands are called the Diaoyu in Chinese and the Senkaku by Japan. Relations between the countries are at a low after the Japanese government bought three of the islands last year, sparking widespread, violent anti-Japan protests across China.
(Reporting by Terril Yue Jones and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie)