TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's Foreign Minister said on Monday Tokyo and Washington agree that disputed East China Sea islets claimed by Japan and China are covered by the Japan-U.S. security treaty.
"I did not bring up the topic today, but it is mutually understood between Japan and the United States that (the islands) are covered by the treaty," Koichiro Gemba told reporters after meeting U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in Tokyo.
The comments come amid mounting tension between Beijing and Tokyo over the islands dispute which triggered protests in dozens of Chinese cities over the weekend.
"It is very regrettable that anti-Japan demonstrations are occurring on a scale that has not been seen before, and that some among the protesters get violent, causing Japan-affiliated companies substantial damage. I would like to ask again the Chinese government take appropriate steps. I would like to renew our demand that law and order be observed," Gemba said.
"The important thing in relations between Japan and China is to avoid misunderstanding and misjudgement," he added. (Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Jonathan Thatcher)