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PacNet #67 – Japan-China Maritime Confidence Building And Communications Mechanisms

Over the last five years, China and Japan have worked to develop several maritime confidence building and communication arrangements to reduce the chances of unintended escalation in the East China Sea and improve Sino-Japanese relations. These include the Japan-China Maritime Communications Mechanism (JCMCM), the Maritime Search and Rescue Cooperation Agreement (SAR Agreement), and the High-level Consultation on Maritime Affairs (High-Level Consultation). Despite considerable progress in reaching agreement in principle, none of the three agreements has been signed or implemented. (Details of discussions are available at: (/sites/default/s3fs-public/130808_Japan_China_Maritime_CBMs_Chart.pdf.) If signed and properly implemented, the arrangements could be helpful in managing maritime interactions despite the heightened tensions surrounding the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands sovereignty controversy.