Japanese envoy Junichi Ihara met his Chinese counterpart, Wu Dawei, in China Monday, to discuss policies to end Pyongyang's nuclear weapon programs.

Beijing's cooperation in resolving the issue of North Korea's abduction of Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s was sought. The two sides also discussed the island disputes between the two countries.

"We discussed North Korean denuclearization issues, including how we will proceed with the six-party talks and called for Chinese cooperation over the abduction issue," said Junichi Ihara while speaking to the reporters at the Beijing airport after meeting with the Chinese leaders.

Ihara, director general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau met several other Chinese officials before the North Korea nuclear talks with China's nuclear envoy for North Korea.

Ihara's three-day trip to China from Sunday follows Japanese vice foreign minister Akitaka Saiki's visit where the vice foreign minister met the Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi and his deputy Liu Zhenmin last week.

The meetings between the two sides were apparently aimed at addressing the island disputes between the two Asian powers.

Tensions over the regional territories and water disputes in South China Sea and East China Sea have risen in recent months as China is trying to use its military and economic power to force the neighboring countries to adhere to its map of the South China Sea.

Last month, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Philippines to meet with President Benigno S. Aquino and the two leaders discussed the regional territory disputes that the two countries face with China.

 Earlier, the Washington government said that it will not tolerate any attempts to change the status quo in the South China Sea.  

"The United States stands firmly against any coercive attempts to alter the status quo," said the U.S. defense secretary Chuck Hagel at the Asia Security Summit in Singapore.