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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

China, Japan hold high-level consultations on maritime affairs

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China and Japan held the 15th round of high-level consultations on maritime affairs in Tokyo on Monday, exchanging views on maritime affairs in an all-round and in-depth way.

As this year marks the 45th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship, the two sides agreed that under the guidance of the important consensuses reached by the leaders of the two countries, efforts should be made to review and abide by the spirit of the treaty, properly handle maritime disputes and differences through dialogue in accordance with the four-point principled agreement between China and Japan, and deepen practical maritime cooperation.

In order to build the East China Sea into a sea of peace, cooperation and friendship, more work should be advanced to build China-Japan relations that meet the requirements of the new era.

The Chinese side made clear China’s solemn position against Japan’s recent negative moves on the issues of East China Sea, Diaoyu Islands, South China Sea and Taiwan Straits, demanding Japan stop all words and deeds that infringe on China’s territorial sovereignty, undermine China’s maritime rights and interests, and complicate the situation, and refrain from meddling in the Taiwan question.

The Chinese side once again expressed China’s concern over Japan’s plan to discharge nuclear-contaminated water into the Pacific Ocean, urging Japan to face up to the legitimate concerns of the international community, take a responsible attitude towards the marine environment and human health, and properly handle the matter in an open, transparent, scientific and safe manner.

During the talks, the two sides reached multiple consensuses including accelerating the direct telephone line connection under the maritime-air liaison mechanism for the two countries’ defense affairs departments in efforts to safeguard maritime security.

The two sides decided to strengthen their collaboration in maritime search and rescue operations, combating transnational maritime crime and illicit fishing, and dealing with marine plastic waste.

Both sides also agreed in principle to hold the 16th round of high-level consultations on China-Japan maritime affairs within this year in China.

The consultations were co-chaired by Hong Liang, director-general of Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, and Takehiro Funakoshi, director-general of Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of the Japanese Foreign Ministry.

The two sides held a plenary session and three working group meetings on maritime defense, maritime law enforcement and security, and maritime economy, attended by officials from foreign ministry, defense ministry, maritime law enforcement, transport and ocean management departments.

UNI XINHUA RKM

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