The first rule of holes is: If you find yourself in one, stop digging.

Viewed most charitably, China may finally be putting its shovel down and searching for a way to fix the mess created by banning the import of all marine products from Japan once it started releasing treated radioactive water from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Chinese President Xi Jinping reportedly agreed on Nov. 17 in San Francisco, where they met at an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, to “find ways to resolve the dispute through meetings and dialogue in a constructive manner.” Scientific experts will discuss the release but there is still no timetable for lifting the ban. Moreover, China is withholding overdue payments to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in an apparent attempt to further pressure Japan.