The Third Round Meeting and Working Group Meetings of Japan-China High-Level Consultation on Maritime Affairs
On January 22, the third round meeting and working group meetings of the Japan-China high-level consultation on maritime affairs were held in Yokohama. An overview of the meeting is as follows (Japanese officials in attendance included Mr. Makita Shimokawa, Deputy Director-General of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (head of the Japanese delegation) and the representatives from the following ministries; Secretariat of Headquarters for Ocean Policy, Cabinet Secretariat; Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; Fisheries Agency; Agency for Natural Resources and Energy; Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism; Japan Coast Guard; Ministry of the Environment; and Ministry of Defense. Chinese officials in attendance included Mr. Yi Xianliang, Deputy Director General of Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs, head of Chinese delegation and representatives from the following ministries; Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ministry of National Defense; Ministry of Public Security; Ministry of Land and Resources; Ministry of Transport; State Oceanic Administration; China Geological Survey; China Coast Guard; and General Staff Headquarters):<.P>
1. In the third round meeting, following the addresses by the heads of the delegations, both sides shared the recognition that steady implementation of the consultation on maritime affairs between the authorities of the two countries related to maritime affairs following the last consultation in September last year promotes exchanges and communication between the authorities of the two countries related to maritime affairs and has a significant meaning for the improvement and development of Japan-China relations. Moreover, both sides exchanged views on the latest conditions of Japan-China relations concerning maritime issues and stated their own positions on issues between the two countries frankly. Subsequently, the authorities related to maritime affairs of the two countries introduced to each other recent undertakings and major issues of interest. Then, both sides exchanged views on issues in which the two countries are commonly interested.
2. Moreover, in this maritime consultation, 1) policy and law of the sea working group meeting, 2) maritime defense working group meeting, 3) maritime law enforcement and maritime safety working group meeting, and 4) maritime economy working group meeting were held. In these working group meetings, the authorities of the two countries intensively discussed the issues of their respective interest and the kind of cooperation that should be promoted by the two countries.
3. Both sides recognized that exchanges of opinions in the third round meeting and working group meetings were very meaningful for both of them to deepen their mutual understanding of the role of their counterparts and maritime policies and position of the two countries and shared the view on the followings:
- Both sides welcomed the Fourth Joint Working Group Consultation concerning Maritime and Aerial Communication Mechanism between Japan-China defense authorities, which had been previously held in Tokyo, and shared the view that the both sides would continue consultation in order to begin the implementation of the Maritime and Aerial Communication Mechanism between the Japan-China defense authorities as early as possible.
- Both sides shared the view that the Japan Coast Guard and Department of Border Control of Ministry of Public Security would designate maintain and continue their coordination and cooperation concerning measures against smuggling and illegal migration as well as other maritime crimes.
- Both sides shared the view that the Japan Coast Guard and the China Coast Guard would provide a contact point for dialogues between headquarters of the two coast guards and hold discussions on additional cooperation as early as possible.
- Both sides shared the view that both sides would strengthen respective dialogues on maritime policies and law of the sea respectively within the framework of the Japan-China high-level consultation on maritime affairs.
- Both sides shared the view that both sides would strengthen maritime cooperation in the fields of search and rescue, science and technology, and environment in accordance with relevant international laws. Moreover, both sides exchanged views for the early conclusion of Japan-China Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) agreement.
4. Concerning the next meeting, both sides shared the view in principle that it would be held in the latter half of this year in China and details of the meeting would be arranged through a diplomatic route.