Japanese minister calls China's reaction in island dispute 'hysterical'
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Japan's Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara on Monday slammed China's "hysterical" reaction after Beijing froze rare earth mineral shipments to Japan and hundreds of Chinese took part in anti-Japanese rallies over a souring territorial dispute.
AFP - Japan's Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara on Monday labelled China's reaction in a territorial row as "hysterical", pointing to Beijing's freeze of rare earth mineral shipments to the island-nation.
Maehara, known as a China hawk, was asked in parliament about a series of retaliatory steps Beijing has taken since Japan in early September arrested a Chinese trawler captain near a disputed island chain.
China scrapped high-levels talks and bilateral events. Industry sources say it also halted rare earth exports, crucial for high-tech goods, to Japan.
"I think the countermeasures China has taken are extremely hysterical," Maehara said, speaking after anti-Japanese protests in China at the weekend.
"As for the rare earth issue, the Chinese commerce ministry says they haven't taken such a measure, but we still can't conclude at this moment that shipments have returned to normal," he said.