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China Rejects Japan PM's Remarks on Air Defense Zone

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks during a press conference at his official residence after summit meetings with 10 Southeast Asian countries, in Tokyo, Dec. 14, 2013.
China has rejected as "slanderous" a renewed call by Japan's prime minister to rescind its air defense zone in the East China Sea.

At the end of a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Tokyo on Saturday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called on China to rescind all measures that violate universal principles of freedom of overflight and aviation safety.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei posted a statement online Sunday expressing "strong dissatisfaction" with Abe's "use of an international meeting to make slanderous remarks about China."

Late last month, China declared an air defense identification zone that includes the area above disputed islands called Diaoyus in China and the Senkakus in Japan.

Japan, South Korea and the United States have protested the move and say they will not abide by Beijing's declaration.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.