On Dec. 7 in the Chinese city of Haikou, Hainan Province, the Japanese and Chinese governments opened “senior officials’ consultations on maritime affairs” to consider a wide range of maritime issues. At the talks, which will be held through Dec. 9, they will discuss creating a “maritime and aerial communication mechanism” between the defense authorities of their two nations to avoid accidental collisions in the East China Sea.
If the trilateral summit between Japan, China, and South Korea being arranged for Dec. 19–20 in Tokyo is realized and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang comes to Tokyo, it is expected that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will hold separate talks with him.
Japan aims at the Abe-Li meeting to put in motion a process to initiate operation of the mechanism as soon as possible. Setting sights on that goal, Japanese representatives at the senior officials’ consultations will strive to advance the negotiations, which have been at a deadlock.