Japan, China to begin high-level maritime talks
News On Japan via Japan Times -- Apr 05
Japan and China are planning to convene a meeting of senior foreign affairs and defense officials, possibly in late May, to discuss maritime security, diplomatic sources said Wednesday.
The first meeting will likely be held in Beijing. The plan will be announced by the two countries if Foreign Minister Koichiro Genba and his Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi, can reach an agreement during talks Saturday in Ningbo, eastern China, the sources said.
The proposed maritime meeting, which will be attended by senior officials from a range of government offices, not only those involved in diplomatic and defense affairs, is part of the two countries' efforts to create a multilayered mechanism for maritime crisis management.
It is uncertain whether the start of such negotiations would produce any real achievements in the near future, given that China is strongly motivated to expand its maritime interests and rights, some of the sources said.
With the launch of high-level maritime talks, Japan is hoping to resume bilateral negotiations toward concluding a treaty on joint gas development in the East China Sea.
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