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China, Japan eye security links

CHINESE navy ships are expected to visit Japan in 2009, according to a press communique released by the defense departments of two countries yesterday.

The release followed talks between Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie and visiting Japanese Defense Minister Hamada Yasukazu.

The communique also said Liang would journey to Japan this year to return Yasukazu's visit to China.

China and Japan will hold defense and security consultations in Tokyo this year, the communique said.

The two ministers agreed to exchange views on international peacekeeping operations, coping with natural disasters and cracking down on pirates, particularly with regard to information exchanges on operations in the Gulf of Aden off the Somali coast.

The two countries agreed that the Japanese chiefs of staff of maritime, ground and air self-defense forces would visit China in 2009 or at other times that are convenient for both parties.

The communique said China and Japan would continue to discuss building a maritime liaison mechanism, and the second expert group consultation in this regard would be held in the first half of the year.

The two countries agreed to launch dialogue among all services and between military commands of the Chinese People's Liberation Army and the Japanese self-defense forces, the communique said.


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