Japan's diplomacy with members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations is expected to face future challenges after tensions over Taiwan were laid bare at a series of meetings through Friday involving the group, known for its principle of neutrality toward major powers, and its dialogue partners.

Southeast Asia is regarded as being at the forefront of the rivalry between Japan and China. Still, some experts in international relations say Tokyo should not try to pressure ASEAN into its camp if it wants to maintain a relationship of mutual trust with the 10-member group.

"The view that Southeast Asia has become the site of a turf war is fundamentally wrong, and is an outdated mindset," said Shin Kawashima, a professor of international relations at the University of Tokyo's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.