Philippine and Japanese diplomats recently discussed in Tokyo the need to ensure that the disputes are resolved peacefully and in accordance with international law. The Philippines proposed that the two countries set up a "permanent working group" that would regularly tackle the disputes and other Asian maritime concerns, a Philippine official said Tuesday.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters.
Japan is not a party to the conflicting claims in the vast South China Sea and its entry into the debate is likely to anger Beijing. China claims the entire potentially oil-rich region, which is also claimed in part by five other countries or territories. Source