BEIJING, March 16 (Xinhua) -- A Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Thursday urged Japan to respect related countries' efforts to maintain peace and stability on the South China Sea, and to refrain from causing trouble in the region.
At a routine press briefing, spokesperson Hua Chunying was asked to comment on reports that Japan's lzumo warship will go to the South China Sea for drills.
The South China Sea issue has improved since last year thanks to the efforts of China and ASEAN countries, Hua said, adding that some non-regional countries should respect measures by regional countries to maintain peace and stability on the South China Sea.
Hua said Japan was focused on its own interests and had inflamed the issue recently, much to the dissatisfaction of the Chinese people.
If the Japanese side still refuses to realize its error and play up regional tensions, China will definitely respond to any action that harm China's sovereignty and security, Hua said.
Japan is not a party to the South China Sea issue and Japan had invaded and occupied China's Xisha Islands and Nansha Islands in the past, Hua said, urging Japan to remember history and mind its words and steps.
Hua added that Japan should not do any harm to the regional peace and stability any longer.