Japan has protested to China over its decision to ban a reporter for a conservative Japanese newspaper from covering talks between the countries' diplomats.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Thursday that Japan lodged a protest over the exclusion of a Sankei Shimbun reporter from the opening of talks Wednesday between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Takeo Akiba.
Sankei is known for its critical stance toward China.
Other Japanese reporters covering the event walked out in protest.
Suga called the incident regrettable and said respect for freedom of expression, basic human rights and rule of law is a universal value that must be ensured.
Akiba was in Beijing to discuss a possible visit by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to China later this year.