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Japan urges calm after China severs contacts

BEIJING — Japan urged China to remain calm and not inflame their diplomatic spat further Monday after Beijing severed high-level contacts and then called off a visit by Japanese youth over the detention of a Chinese fishing boat captain near disputed islands.
China's actions pushed already-tense relations to a new low, and showed Beijing's willingness to play hardball with its Asian rival on issues of territorial integrity, which include sparring with Japan over natural gas fields in the East China Sea.
Late Sunday, Beijing said it was suspending ministerial and provincial-level contacts, halting talks on aviation issues and postponing meetings to discuss energy-related issues, including a second round of talks with Japan on the gas deposits.
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