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Japan called its ambassador to China back on Sunday for discussions on simmering tension over islands in the East China Sea, requiring the envoy to "accurately convey" Tokyo's stance to Beijing.
The Japanese Foreign Ministry said Uichiro Niwa will return to Beijing on Monday, dismissing concerns that Tokyo wanted to remove the ambassador following his warning in June that Japan's plan to "nationalize" the Diaoyu Islands would endanger relations.
Calling back the ambassador may be an indication that Japan understands how serious the situation is, analysts said.
They also pointed out the ambassador's return to Japan was aimed at gathering information and, "more and less", expressing Tokyo's dissatisfaction to Beijing.
Niwa left Beijing on Sunday morning, following an order from Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba.
He went to the Foreign Ministry immediately after arriving in Tokyo to report to Gemba on the situation in China concerning the Diaoyu Islands and discussed countermeasures, according to Japan's Kyodo News Agency.
Gemba told reporters after the meeting that he asked Niwa to return to Japan as "there are new trends" concerning the Diaoyu Islands.
The minister said he "instructed Niwa to accurately convey Japan's views", adding they did not talk about whether to remove the ambassador during the meeting.
They also discussed activities planned in China to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the normalization of China-Japan diplomatic relations, the Kyodo report said.
"The Foreign Ministry claimed Niwa's return to Japan is not a 'recall' aimed at protesting against China. However, a temporary visit home, as a diplomatic convention, is often used as a countermeasure," Kyodo said.