China, Japan Hold First Bilateral Security Talks since March 2015
Japan and China's foreign and defense officials finally held their first bilateral security talks on Monday in Beijing since March 2015.
The meeting was attended by the senior diplomats and defense officials including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Deputy Foreign Minister Takeo Akiba, and Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou.
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Results of the Meeting
Japan and China have agreed to strengthen their confidence-building measures as both sides have explained their security policies and discussed the major challenges that the region and the rest of the world are facing.
The government of Japan asked China to make its security policies more transparent.
As this meeting comes amid the ongoing territorial dispute in the East China Sea, the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to ease the tensions over sovereignty of a group of tiny islands in the sea.
The two nations aim to set up a maritime and aerial communication mechanism to prevent accidental clashes in and above the East China Sea by establishing a sort of hotline between their officials. However, one of the major obstacles identified in implementing the mechanism is how to treat territorial waters and airspace around the uninhabited islets, which China calls Diaoyu.
Japan has reportedly demanded that they not fall within the scope of the mechanism, while China has argued the opposite, The Japan Times reported,
The meeting on Monday lasted for more than four hours followed by another over three hours meeting on Tuesday as Japan and China agreed to work toward a trilateral summit with South Korea, despite increasing uncertainty in political turmoil roiling in Seoul.
Japan is seeking to host an annual trilateral summit involving the two countries and South Korea around Dec. 19 in Tokyo, creating a favorable environment for Premier Li Keqiang as this will be his first possible visit to Japan since taking office in 2013.