Abe - Japan acting calmly in island dispute with China

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February 23, 2013 6:28 AM EST

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday said he told President Barack Obama in a meeting that Japan would act calmly in its row with China over tiny islands in the East China Sea claimed by both Asian countries.

"I explained that we have always been dealing with this issue ... in a calm manner," he said through a translator, while sitting next to Obama in the White House Oval Office.

"We will continue to do so and we have always done so," he said.

Abe said the existence of the Japan-U.S. alliance was a stabilizing factor in the region. He also said that he and Obama discussed additional sanctions against North Korea.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason; Editing by Vicki Allen)

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