Tokyo: Incoming Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday there could be no compromise on the sovereignty of islands at the centre of a dispute with China.
"The Senkaku islands are Japan's inherent territory," he said, referring to an archipelago Beijing calls the Diaoyus. "Japan owns and controls the islands... under international law. There is no room for negotiation on this point".
Abe led his Liberal Democratic Party to a convincing victory in Sunday's election, having pushed a hawkish line on the island dispute throughout the campaign.
The LDP pledged in its manifesto to "study" the idea of building a port in the Senkakus or stationing bureaucrats there to boost Japan's control over the strategically important, but uninhabited outcrops in the East China Sea.
Tokyo and Beijing have been at loggerheads for decades over their sovereignty, but the dispute flared badly in September after Japan nationalised them.
Chinese boats have plied waters near the chain most days since and on Thursday Beijing sent a plane to overfly them. Japan scrambled fighter jets to head it off.