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Japan, China to Resume Maritime Talks

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

February 20, 2015

 Japan and China plan to resume security talks with focus on maritime issues as early as April after a four-year hiatus amid simmering tensions over territorial disputes, AFP reports.

A meeting planned for Tokyo, which would be the first since January 2011 in Beijing, involving top officials from each country’s foreign and defence ministries, including Japan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Shinsuke Sugiyama.
The talks will likely focus on fostering mutual trust on maritime security, given the continuing tensions over the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.
Tokyo and Beijing are at loggerheads over the sovereignty of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, which Japan administers as the Senkakus, but which China claims as the Diaoyus.
Japan is expected to ask China to make its growing defence spending more transparent and explain the reasons behind its military expansion, Kyodo said. Beijing will likely want to talk about moves by Abe to relax the restrictions on Japan's military to allow it to come to the aid of allies under attack.
China maintains that the islands are an inherent part of its territory and it has indisputable sovereignty over them, while the Japanese government, on the other hand, regards the islands as a part of Ishigaki, Okinawa Prefecture.
Japan and China have previously held 12 rounds of bilateral security talks, beginning in 1993.

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