Japan and China have held their first security talks in four years, with senior foreign affairs and defense officials agreeing to strengthen their communications on security and defense.
However, progress was not made regarding the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture or the situation in Taiwan during the Wednesday talks at Japan’s Foreign Ministry, highlighting again that it will not be easy to establish a stable security environment.
The talks were held amid the momentum for dialogue between Japan and China following the first face-to-face meeting between Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Chinese President Xi Jinping last November.
The talks lasted about 3 1/2 hours. Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Shigeo Yamada opened the meeting by stressing the need for constructive, stable relations, saying it was important to have frank dialogue on issues and concerns. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Sun Weidong also expressed his hope that mutual understanding between China and Japan would be promoted.
The two sides confirmed their intention to launch a telephone hotline in the spring to avoid accidental military clashes.
Japan expressed serious concern over the situation in the East China Sea, including the Senkaku Islands area, and the military activities of China and Russia around Japan. It also addressed the issue of China’s unmanned reconnaissance balloons and called for the prevention of such incidents in the future.
The Chinese side noted its grave concern over Japan’s revision of its national security strategy and other issues, and what it said were Japan’s negative moves on the Taiwan issue in collusion with forces outside the region. At times, the two sides were directly opposed in their statements.
Also on Wednesday, the governments of Japan and China held online talks on Japan-China economic partnership, exchanging views on such issues as climate change and imports and exports of agricultural products.
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