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U.S. Offers To Mediate In Japan-China Territorial Dispute

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (file photo)
The United States has offered to mediate between China and Japan amid a heated territorial dispute between Beijing and Tokyo.

The dispute over islands in the East China Sea -- called Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan -- has plunged the two countries' relations to a five-year low.

Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of the East Asia summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called on the two sides to maintain "peaceful relations."

"It is in all of our interests for China and Japan to have stable, peaceful relations, and we've recommended to both that the United States is more than willing to host a trilateral where we would bring Japan and China and their foreign ministers together to discuss a range of issues," Clinton said.

Clinton held talks in Hanoi with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, who called on Washington to avoid "irresponsible remarks" when discussing the disputed islands.

Clinton later in the day made a brief stop in China's Hainan Island for talks intended to pave the way for President Hu Jintao's visit to Washington early next year.

compiled from agency reports