China and Japan held high-level maritime talks focusing on territorial disputes in the East China Sea.

The Senkaku, as known in Japan, or Diaoyu in China, has long caused strain between the two countries’ relationship. China and Japan have rival claims on the islands and their surrounding waters.

Officials from the two countries’ foreign and defense ministries met on a one-day dialogue in the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou. The high-level dialogue, which will hold “no restrictions on the issue”, was set up in December to discuss maritime affairs, foreign ministry Hong Lei said.

Tensions hit the countries when a Chinese vessel collided into a Japanese coast guard ship, resulting in the arrest of the Chinese captain. The crisis was resolved through diplomatic channels. However, a number of incidents occurred concerning the islands since then. Reaching a consensus in the high-level talks may be constricted by the annual conference of the World Uyghur Congress (WUC), an exiled ethnic group in China, which Japan is hosting.