Japan, China Resume Defense Talks

Posted July 26th, 2011 at 11:05 pm (UTC-5)
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Japan and China say they have agreed to enhance communication between their defense departments and establish a maritime liaison system in the East China Sea.

Senior Chinese and Japanese defense officials met for talks Tuesday in Tokyo, for the first time since 2008 to discuss defense and military cooperation.

The meeting brought together Japanese Vice Defense Minister Kimito Nakae and Ma Xiaotian, China's deputy chief of the army's general staff.

They said their nations will resume military exchanges that were suspended after last September's collision between Japanese coast guard vessels and a Chinese trawler near a disputed island chain controlled by Tokyo but claimed by Beijing.

The officials also said Japan's Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa could soon visit Beijing.

In the September 7 incident the Chinese fishing boat operating in disputed waters collided with Japanese coast guard patrol boats near the Senkaku Islands, also known as the Diaoyu Islands. The collision and Japan's subsequent detention of the Chinese boat and its crew resulted in a diplomatic dispute between China and Japan.

The Chinese boat and its crew were eventually released without charges, which resulted with a public outcry in Japan where critics accused the authorities of succumbing to China's threats.