The foreign ministers of China and Japan held stern talks on Tuesday on bitterly disputed islands but made no breakthrough, diplomats said.
China's Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi accused Japan of committing a "gross violation" of China's territorial integrity during the meeting, according to China's state Xinhau news agency.
Japan's Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba said there was a "severe" atmosphere for the talks which lasted for about about one hour on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, diplomats said. Gemba requested the meeting, added the diplomats, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
China has been infuriated by the Japanese government's move to buy the East China Sea islands -- known as the Senkaku in Japanese and the Diaoyu to Chinese -- from a private owner.
The meeting was the highest-level one between the two sides since the government purchase earlier this month.
Yang said the Tokyo government had bought the uninhabited islands in the East China Sea "regardless of China's stern representations and strong opposition," Xinhua added.
He added that the move was "an outright denial" of the defeat of Japan in World War II "and a grave challenge to the post-war international order".
Japan and China have disputed the islands for decades but tensions have flared again in recent weeks leading to street protests in Chinese cities.
A number of Japanese companies, including Panasonic and Honda, halted production at their Chinese factories last week because of fears for the safety of staff and the facilities.
Vice ministers from the two countries met in Beijing on Tuesday but also failed to ease the diplomatic tensions.
Chinese government ships have sailed into waters around the disputed islands in recent days, but there was no sign of them in the area early Wednesday, according to Japanese coastguards.
Coastguard vessels and fishing boats from Taiwan, which also claims the islands, entered Japanese waters Tuesday but they were said to be on their way home.