China on Monday reacted lodged protests with Tokyo after Japanese foreign minister Fumio Kishida was quoted as saying that Arunachal Pradesh was part of India during his visit to New Delhi over the weekend.
Arunachal Pradesh is claimed by China, which is called South Tibet, and is part of the decades-long Sino-India border dispute which triggered a brief but brutal war in 1962.
Agency reports quoted Japan's Sankei Shimbun, a conservative daily, as quoting Kishida saying that Arunachal Pradesh was "India's territory".
“We are seriously concerned about this and have lodged serious representation with the Japanese side, asking Japan to make clarification and immediately remove negative implications arising (from) this,” Hong Lei, foreign ministry spokesperson, said on Monday when asked by the Chinese state media to comment on Kishida’s statement.
Hong said Tokyo has told Beijing that it has “…no position and it will not intervene in the disputed area between China and India. Japan has also made public clarifications on this.”
He said that China’s position on the border was clear and consistent adding that India and China were attempting to resolve the issue through the mechanism of meetings between the special representatives of both countries.
“China and India are seeking the solution to resolve the boundary question that is fair, reasonable and acceptable to both sides. We hope the Japanese side can understand the sensitiveness of China-India border question and respect China and India’s efforts to resolve dispute through negotiations and be prudent in its words and actions
A Reuters report from Tokyo quoted a Japanese foreign ministry as saying that “the statement was made considering the reality that Arunachal Pradesh state is basically in reality controlled by India and that China and India are continuing negotiations over the border dispute".
“Japan hopes that the dispute will be peacefully resolved by negotiations between the two countries,” he said
Last November, Japan had to clarify to China that it was not building any road or infrastructure in northeast India that falls within the disputed area.
“Japan has clarified that the cooperation with India is not in the disputed area between China and India,” the Chinese foreign ministry had then said.