In a meeting of top-level diplomats on Tuesday, Tokyo urged Beijing to impose more decisive sanctions on North Korea, seeking to end China's apparent inaction amid a recent litany of provocations by Pyongyang.

"We made it clear that what is important for now is to beef up pressure on North Korea and that China has extremely important roles to play. We strongly urged China to play even more active roles in this regard," Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters after the meeting ended.

The foreign minister, however, did not clarify whether Japan was able to elicit Beijing's approval of the request, nor did he reveal what specific measures he had asked China to implement.