XIAMEN, Fujian, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- China and Japan agreed to continue discussions on an early start of an air and maritime contact mechanism in their fourth round of high-level consultations on maritime affairs.
Defense departments of the two countries discussed the issue and agreed to continue their discussion. The defense departments also exchanged views on exchanges, according to a press release from the Foreign Ministry on Tuesday evening.
Officials from the two countries' ministries on foreign affairs, defense, transportation, security, agriculture, environment, energy and aquatic product attended the talks, held in Xiamen of southeast China's Fujian Province from Monday to Tuesday.
Four working teams on politics and laws, maritime defense, maritime law enforcement and security, as well as maritime economy held separate meetings and a plenary meeting.
The two sides also discussed the East China Sea and specific ways to conduct maritime cooperation, the press release said.
China's Public Security Ministry and Japan's maritime security department agreed to continue to strengthen cooperation on fight against transnational crimes including smuggling, human smuggling and drug trafficking.
China's coast guard department and Japan's maritime security department agreed to strengthen their communication and mutual trust through information and people-to-people exchanges.
The two countries will continue to discuss their sea-related policies and laws and increase dialogue and communication in this regard, and enhance cooperation on the protection of diversity of marine life and management of marine rubbish. They also exchanged views on resource development.
The two sides agreed to continue to discuss an early signing of a bilateral maritime search and rescue agreement, and hold their fifth round of maritime talks in the first half of next year, the press release said.
The China-Japan high-level consultations on maritime affairs were set up in January of 2012 with the first round of talks held in May of the same year in Hangzhou, capital city of east China's Zhejiang Province. The third round of talks was held in Japan in January.