Japan, China restart security talks after four years

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TOKYO – Japan and held a top-level security meeting on Thursday, the first in four years, amid soured ties over a territorial spat and differing views wartime history.

Foreign affairs and defence officials of the two countries were expected to discuss a mechanism to avoid unintended clashes at sea.

“It can be said that Japan-China relations appear to be advancing gradually,” Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister, Shinsuke Sugiyama, told the meeting in Tokyo, local media on Wednesday.

Sugiyama referred to the meeting between Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, and Chinese President, Xi Jinping, in November on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in Beijing.

“But it is a fact that Japan and China have concern about their respective security policies,” Sugiyama said.

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Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister, Liu Jianchao, said the two sides are important neighbours and regional powers.
He said Thursday meeting was of significance to maintain in the region.
Japan plans to urge China to boost transparency in its defence , including the double-digit annual growth in the defence budget for most of the past quarter century, local a local medium said.
On , three Chinese coast guard vessels entered what Japan considers its territorial waters near a group of disputed islets in the East China Sea, Japanese authorities said.

The Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands are also claimed by China and Taiwan, where they are known as Diaoyu and Tiaoyutai, respectively.
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In September 2012, Japan’s purchase of three of the islets set off protests in dozens of Chinese cities and a boycott of Japanese . (dpa/NAN)