• Kyodo

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Japan and China confirmed Friday during working-level talks here that they will create a mutual notification mechanism to resolve disputes over Chinese research activities in what Japan claims are its exclusive economic waters, a Foreign Ministry official said.

Shigekazu Sato, deputy director general of the Foreign Ministry’s Asian Affairs Bureau, and his Chinese counterpart Cheng Yonghua attended the talks.

In late August, Foreign Minister Yohei Kono and Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan agreed in Beijing to set up a mutual notification mechanism to try to resolve disputes over research activities.

Regarding China’s naval operations in waters what Japan claims its 200-nautical-mile exclusive economic zone, Sato was quoted as telling Cheng, “It matters to us that China is freely conducting maritime activities in the exclusive economic zone.”

In response, Cheng said, “The basic problem here is that the border of the zone is yet to be decided. China does not recognize what Japan calls a border,” according to the official.

Tokyo has repeatedly urged China to exercise restraint over increasing instances of Chinese research and naval activities in what Japan claims are its economic waters.

Japan and China have long been at odds over the issue, because the two countries have yet to sign a treaty delimiting their economic waters despite numerous rounds of negotiations.

The next round of talks will be held Sept. 27, the official said.

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