China criticized Japan Wednesday for reportedly planning to invite foreign correspondents stationed in Beijing and Seoul to promote Tokyo's stance on territorial issues, urging Japan not to "waste time to make vain efforts."
China's foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying made the remarks when asked about a Japanese media report that the Japanese foreign ministry would invite more than 100 U.S. and European correspondents in Beijing and Seoul early this year to brief them on territorial issues with South Korea and China.
"I have heard some information about that," Hua said of the reported plan.
"No matter how much you hype up, you cannot change the fact," Hua said. "The Diaoyi islands are China's territory."
Relations between China and Japan have become increasingly acrimonious over a set of islands in the East China Sea, known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan.
"So, instead of wasting time to make vain efforts," Hua urged Japan "to reflect upon history, face up to the reality and take tangible actions to properly solve the relevant issue."
Relations between South Korea and Japan have also remained frosty due to Japan's repeated claims to South Korea's easternmost islets of Dokdo in the East Sea.
In recent days, Japan has drawn strong condemnation from South Korea and China after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe paid homage to a controversial war shrine, which is a reminder to Koreans and Chinese of Japan's wartime atrocities.
"We urge the Japanese leader to face the call of justice, admit its mistakes and change his deviated course," Hua said. (Yonhap News)