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Genba seeks ‘crisis management’ to avoid future Senkaku disputes

Date Posted: 2011-12-02

Japan’s Foreign Minister has issued a call to Beijing to create a “crisis management mechanism” that could prevent future disputes in the event of maritime incidents in the East China Sea.

Koichiro Genba put the proposal to Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Beijing, while visiting to coordinate a China visit by Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda later this month. Genba, concerned about last year’s fishing boat collision with Japan Coast Guard patrol vessels near the disputed Senkaku islands that led to some chilly Japan-China relations for a period, has been working to have the two governments promote regular communication.

The Foreign Minister wants to see dialogue involving the coast guards, the foreign ministries and other government agencies to quickly solve bilateral problems. He also has proposed a hot line linking the Chinese State Councilor for Foreign Policy with his foreign ministry office.

To date, Japan has relied on coast guard patrol ships to keep an eye on Chinese ships, with backup from diplomatic agencies requesting assistance in both avoiding and resolving conflicts. Genba wants to see the Fisheries Agency, the Natural Resources and Energy Agency, along with the Education Ministry, Foreign Ministry and Japan Coast Guard working together.

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