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China, Japan set to resume maritime ties
October 31, 2014, 5:42 am

After indicating a possible meet between the top leadership of the two Asian giants, China and Japan’s defense agencies are moving forward with expert consultation needed to resume maritime liaisons, said a Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman on Thursday.

The two countries restarted high-level consultation on maritime affairs last month.

Replying to a query on recent US-Japan military drills, Chinese Ministry spokesman, Yang Yujun, told a monthly press briefing that Beijing hoped military cooperation could be conducive to regional peace and stability, instead of the other way round.

In a meeting last month in Qingdao, in eastern China, officials from both countries exchanged views on East China Sea dispute and maritime cooperation.

They agreed, in principle, to resume bilateral maritime liaisons.

People shout slogans and hold placards saying "we won't let Japan go to wars" during a protest against Abe cabinet's policy to ease the limit of the country's pacifist Constitution in Tokyo, Japan, Sept. 4, 2014 [Xinhua]

People shout slogans and hold placards saying “we won’t let Japan go to wars” during a protest against Abe cabinet’s policy to ease the limit of the country’s pacifist Constitution in Tokyo, Japan, Sept. 4, 2014 [Xinhua]

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday that China will accord all due respect to visiting leaders during the APEC Summit in Beijing next month, fueling speculation that Chinese President Xi Jinping might hold talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to end tensions.

Abe has not held talks with Chinese leaders since he returned to power in December 2012.

Tensions between the two countries have risen in the past year, with each side accusing the other of flying military aircraft too close to its own jets in a long-running territorial dispute over a cluster of islets in the East China Sea.

Abe’s visit to the Yasukuni shrine, regarded by China as a symbol of Japan’s wartime militarism has also infuriated both China and South Korea.

Economic ties have suffered in recent times although trade between Japan and China is expected to grow this year for the first time in three years.

Japanese exports to China grew 2.5% to $78 billion in the first half of 2014 from the same period a year earlier, according to official Japanese figures.

China is Japan’s biggest trading partner while Japan is China’s 3rd.

 

 TBP and Agencies

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