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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Japan-China Tensions Shadow Summit

JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Asian foreign ministers expressed concern Wednesday over a row between China and Japan, and urged the two economic powerhouses to reduce tensions that they said were not good for the region.

The dispute has overshadowed a landmark meeting of Asian and African leaders in Indonesia, with all eyes on whether Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Chinese President Hu Jintao will hold talks on the sidelines of the event this week.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar, speaking after foreign ministers opened talks on strengthening Asia-Africa ties, said the row was being scrutinized across a region where many countries count Japan and China as key trading partners.

"Any raising of tensions in our area is a matter of concern, especially when it involves China and Japan, so we hope the dialogue will continue and they will find a very satisfactory resolution," Syed Hamid told reporters.

"It will not destabilize [Asia], but it will be a matter of serious concern."

Around 100 countries are attending a summit in Jakarta this week for the 50th anniversary of the 1955 Asia-Africa Conference in the Indonesian city of Bandung that marked the first move by the Third World to assert itself in world affairs.

Japanese officials have said Koizumi and Hu might hold separate talks in Indonesia, but no meeting has been confirmed. Relations between the two countries are considered to be at their worst in 30 years.

 Japan's volatile feud with China gained fuel when Japanese lawmakers announced plans for a visit Friday to a shrine that critics say glorifies Tokyo's militarist past, and a court in the capital ruled against Chinese victims of wartime atrocities.

Japanese Nationalist lawmakers, headed by a former defense minister, announced plans to visit the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors Japan's 2.5 million war dead, on Friday.