Japan and China have held their second intergovernmental talks on maritime affairs to discuss security and crisis management in the East China Sea, including waters around the Japan-controlled Senkaku Islands, the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo said.
The central government hopes the dialogue will contribute to mending bilateral ties and pave the way for summit talks, which have been not held since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe assumed office in December 2012.
Representatives from the two countries met in the city of Qingdao, eastern China, for two days starting on Tuesday. They agreed to resume negotiations on forging a bilateral maritime security mechanism involving defense officials, the ministry said on Wednesday.
The officials also agreed to make arrangements for another meeting in Japan later this year.
The first maritime affairs talks were held in China in May 2012, after then-Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao agreed in December 2011 to arrange for such discussions.
Tensions over the sovereignty of the Senkakus Islands, which China claims and calls Diaoyu, intensified after the Japanese government bought some of the islets from a private Japanese owner in 2012. China has been sending vessels into Japanese territorial waters near the Senkakus frequently since then.
Japan says the Senkakus are an integral part of its territory and insists that no territorial dispute exists between Tokyo and Beijing.
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