China and Japan will hold a high-level dialogue on maritime affairs next Monday in Tokyo, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the first in-person bilateral meeting on the topic since May 2019.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said Friday that officials in charge of foreign affairs, defense and maritime law enforcement will be among the participants. They will discuss when the two countries will start operating a hotline between their defense authorities, a source familiar with bilateral ties said.

A meeting under the High-level Consultation Mechanism on Maritime Affairs was last held in November via video link. Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang and his Japanese counterpart, Yoshimasa Hayashi, welcomed the resumption of the in-person maritime dialogue when they met in Beijing last Sunday.

Ahead of Hayashi's China visit, the two countries announced last week the establishment of the hotline designed to build confidence and prevent unexpected contingencies.

Mao said Beijing expects a thorough exchange of views at the upcoming meeting to increase mutual understanding and trust as well as "advance practical cooperation in the maritime field."

Agenda items will also likely include the repeated entry of Chinese vessels into waters near the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea and Tokyo's plan to start releasing treated radioactive water into the sea from the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant sometime this spring or summer, the source said.

Hong Liang, head of the Chinese Foreign Ministry's Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs, and Takehiro Funakoshi, director-general of the Japanese Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, will attend the event, according to the source.