Sixth Round Meeting and Working Group Meetings of Japan-China High-Level Consultation on Maritime Affairs

December 9, 2016

  1. On December 7-9, the sixth round meeting and working group meetings of the Japan-China high-level consultation on maritime affairs were held in Haikou, Hainan Province, China. The overview of the meeting is as follows. (Japanese officials attended from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Cabinet Secretariat (Secretariat of Headquarters for Ocean Policy), Fisheries Agency, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, Japan Coast Guard, Ministry of the Environment, and Ministry of Defense. Chinese officials attended from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Central Office for Foreign Affairs, Ministry of National Defense, Ministry of Public Security, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Environmental Protection, Ministry of Agriculture, State Oceanic Administration, National Energy Administration, China Coast Guard, and Chinese Academy of Sciences.)

    The two sides held a plenary meeting and 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, and exchanged opinions on matters related to the East China Sea and tangible ways to promote maritime cooperation by the two countries.

    1. Both sides highly appreciated the Sixth Joint Working Group Consultations on a Maritime and Aerial Communication Mechanism between the Japan-China defense authorities and agreed to continue efforts to begin operation of this mechanism as early as possible.

    2. The Japan Coast Guard and Border Control Bureau of Ministry of Public Security of China agreed to strengthen the exchange of information to enhance cooperation concerning enforcement of laws against smuggling and illegal migration, narcotics transactions, and other maritime crimes that cross national borders in line with the proceedings from a meeting of the heads of these two organizations.

    3. The Japan Coast Guard and the China Coast Guard shared the view that they would diversify methods used in existing contact points for dialogue and deepen information exchanges and people-to-people exchanges between the maritime legal enforcement agencies of the two countries using these contact points.

    4. Both sides agreed to conduct the first meeting on a dialogue platform of experts regarding Japan-China cooperation on ocean debris by the end of March 2017 and discuss joint research on ocean debris monitoring, toxicity of microplastics, and other topics. Both sides agreed to promote mutual visits by experts in the relevant fields and technology exchange, and to arrange a related workshop in 2017.

    5. Both sides confirmed the importance of bilateral and multilateral cooperation on the safety of maritime vessels and preventing pollution.

    6. Both sides reconfirmed the importance of an early signing of the Japan-China Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) agreement and shared the view to continue necessary procedures.

    7. Both sides had candid exchange of opinions regarding the "2008 Agreement" related to the development of natural resources in the East China Sea and agreed to continue these discussions.

    8. Both sides agreed to strengthen cooperation in the field of fisheries management.

    9. The two sides exchanged views on issues related to the framework of mutual advance notification between Japan and China regarding ocean scientific surveys.

    10. Both sides shared the view in principle that the Seventh Round Meeting and Working Group Meetings of the Japan-China High-Level Consultation on Maritime Affairs would be held in the first half of next year in Japan.