China, Japan agree on early launch of air, maritime contact system

Beijing, Dec 10 (IANS) China and Japan have agreed to work for the creation of an air and maritime contact system between their defence ministries as early as possible.

The agreement was reached during the sixth round of high-level consultations on maritime affairs between the two countries’ various departments, held from December 7 to December 9 in China’s southern city of Haikou, Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday.

They also agreed to hold the first meeting of expert discussions on marine pollution before March 2017, and expand information exchanges to jointly crack down on transnational crimes such as smuggling and drug trafficking.

The two sides pledged to beef up cooperation on fisheries management and sign a marine search and rescue agreement as early as possible.

China and Japan also exchanged views on the East China Sea issue and agreed to hold the seventh round of high-level consultations on maritime affairs in Japan in the first half of 2017.