Japan and China engaged in a war of words over the Senkaku Islands dispute Tuesday at the summit of Asian and European leaders, government sources said.

During a session of the Asia-Europe Meeting in Vientiane, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Japan places importance on overcoming any conflicts in a peaceful approach in accordance with international law.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, who took over from Premier Wen Jiabao at the meeting, said the outcome of an "anti-Fascist" war should not be denied, a reference to what China says is its legitimate claims to the disputed islands, sources close to the talks said.