Defense Minister Taro Kono and his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Wei Fengzhe, agreed to work to boost mutual trust and strengthen communication amid growing Japanese concerns over Beijing's increasing military assertiveness.

Kono made clear that there are still various issues between Japan and China, including the East China Sea.

"We have strong concerns especially regarding Chinese vessels and airplanes in the sea and airspace surrounding the Senkaku Islands," Kono said. The Senkakus are claimed also by China, which calls them Diaoyu.