• Kyodo

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Japan and China on Thursday started a two-day senior official consultation in Fukuoka on maritime affairs, where they are expected to discuss ways to avoid unintended clashes in the East China Sea.

The focus of the gathering — the seventh such consultation — is on whether the two countries can pave the way for an early implementation of a “Maritime and Aerial Communication Mechanism,” which is effectively a hotline between defense officials aimed at preventing accidental clashes in the sea, where China disputes Japan’s sovereignty over the uninhabited Senkaku Islands.

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