Worldwide Locations

Worldwide Locations

China and Japan on Shaky Ground at the UN




A policeman tries to disperse the crowd as anti-Japanese protesters shout slogans while marching through the embassy district in Beijing on September 18, 2010. More than a 100 anti-Japan protesters rallied in Beijing, furious over Tokyo's arrest of a Chinese fishing boat captain, a move which has sparked a major diplomatic row. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

A policeman tries to disperse the crowd as anti-Japanese protesters shout slogans while marching through the embassy district in Beijing on September 18, 2010. More than a 100 anti-Japan protesters rallied in Beijing, furious over Tokyo's arrest of a Chinese fishing boat captain, a move which has sparked a major diplomatic row. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

Recent islands rows between China and Japan have become increasingly problematic for the two countries, as Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao showed diplomatic displeasure in meeting his Japanese counterpart at the UN General Assembly in New York this week.

Severely damaging bilateral relations between the two countries, the island issue involves a Chinese trawler with its fishermen and a captain, and some Japanese coastguard vessels. The Japanese have detained the Chinese trawlers after a collision between the two on uninhabited islands, which both countries claim as theirs. China threatened "further actions" if Japan failed to release the skipper, even though Japan's Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara speaking at the UN said his country was ready for dialogue.

Chinese nationalists are particularly sensitive about the disputed islands, which in China are called the Diaoyu, and in Japan are called the Senkaku. Tokyo and Beijing are eager to secure access to the rich fishing grounds around the islands and the large mineral deposits believed to lie under the seabed. 

China and Japan must resolve these issues as quickly as possible, but the disputed territory makes it increasingly difficult to do so. What do the two countries need to do to maintain diplomatic bilateral ties? Leave your comments below:

Note: Asian leaders will be at Asia Society this week and next for discussions. Click here for details.