On April 17, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it will hold high-level consultations on maritime affairs with China in Sendai on April 19–20. Officials will make final adjustments to the maritime and aerial communication mechanism being set up between the defense authorities of each country to prevent accidental clashes in the vicinity of the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture or the airspace above it. This is the ninth round of China-Japan high-level consultations on maritime affairs. The last round of consultations was held in Shanghai last December.
The two countries aim to reach a formal agreement on starting operation of the mechanism at the meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Premier Li Keqiang to be held in May in Tokyo.