China, Japan hold consultation on building maritime liaison mechanism

The defense departments of China and Japan concluded their third expert group consultation on building a maritime liaison mechanism in Beijing on Friday, agreeing to partially initiate the mechanism later this year.

According to a statement released by the Defense Ministry, the two sides discussed the framework of the mechanism and technical issues during a three-day consultation held from Wednesday to Friday.

They reached a consensus on the goals, constitution and contact channels of the mechanism and agreed to maintain consultations, the statement said.

“Both sides agreed that the maritime liaison mechanism will help avoid accidental conflicts, cement trust and substantial cooperation between the two countries’ defense departments and boost China-Japan ties,” said the statement.

The expert group consultation was launched in 2008 in order to help both sides respond to unexpected events and cement defense exchanges. The two previous consultations were held in Beijing in 2008 and in Tokyo in 2009.

Xinhua