China, Japan Hold First Security Talks After Four Years

China and Japan are holding their first high-level security dialogue in four years, following recent tensions over territorial and historical issues.

The meeting in Tokyo among officials comes ahead of trilateral talks with South Korea on Saturday.

The last round of talks was in 2011, before ties deteriorated over an island in the East China Sea.

China also claims Japan has failed to adequately atone for aggression during the Second World War.

But officials of both countries say relations are slowly improving and at the top of the meeting’s agenda is the establishment of a maritime communication hotline.

There have been fears that a clash – accidental or otherwise – between Chinese and Japanese paramilitary vessels patrolling waters around the disputed islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, could trigger a conflict.

Japan’s deputy foreign minister told reporters that both sides hoped to “especially discuss intentions and thoughts behind each other’s defense policy.”

His counterpart, China’s Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Jianchao, said that China hoped that the two countries “would develop a mind to face history squarely and look into the future.”

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