“The other chance is after the (July) upper house election, around the 35th anniversary of the Sino-Japan friendship treaty on Aug. 12,” Yamaguchi said. “Both sides need to make efforts.”
Yamaguchi said the rise of tension over the isles had convinced both sides of the need for dialogue, although he acknowledged that finding a solution was tough.
“Of course, there are different opinions about the Senkaku and it is not easy to reach agreement. Both sides understand that,” he said.
“But if we cannot control things on site, it will be difficult to prevent an accidental incident. The role of politicians is to ease tensions, prevent things from escalating and ... move ahead with aspects of mutual and common interest from a broad perspective.”
Japan’s purchase of the islands from a private citizen was aimed at easing the row but triggered violent protests in China.
(Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in Beijing; Editing by Robert Birsel)