Defense Minister Minoru Kihara reiterated “serious concerns” about the rising pace of Chinese military moves around Japan, during his first meeting with China’s defense chief on Saturday.

Meeting Chinese Defense Minister Dong Jun on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue security conference in Singapore, Kihara called the talks "a very important opportunity for dialogue,” with the two agreeing to “continue to promote dialogue and exchanges” as the two sides remain divided over a number of issues.

"There are many security concerns between Japan and China, with the situation in the East China Sea, including the Senkaku Islands, and the increased military activities of the Chinese side in the airspace around our country," Kihara told Dong at the opening of the meeting, which lasted around 50 minutes.