National / Politics

Japan and China to hold maritime talks in Shanghai in December

Kyodo

The Japanese and Chinese governments are planning to hold the next round of high-level talks on maritime issues in Shanghai early next month, amid a thaw in their ties, according to bilateral diplomatic sources.

Officials are expected to discuss establishing a communication mechanism to prevent accidental clashes in the East China Sea.

In talks on the margins of regional meetings in Southeast Asia earlier this month, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed with both President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang to improve bilateral relations, which have long been strained by historical issues and the status of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

The uninhabited islands are controlled by Japan but claimed by China and Taiwan.

In his meeting with Xi in Vietnam, Abe said Japan-China relations cannot genuinely improve without stability in the East China Sea, in an apparent reference to China Coast Guard ships repeatedly sailing through Japanese territorial waters around the Senkakus.

Abe and Xi affirmed that they will speed up the process of dialogue to get the maritime and aerial communication mechanism up and running soon, according to the Japanese government.

During the meeting in Vietnam, Abe also invited Xi to visit Japan.

Next month’s meeting will be the eighth round of talks that began in 2012.

Both countries will be represented by working-level foreign affairs, defense and coast guard officials, the sources said.

The last round of talks was held in Fukuoka in June.