BEIJING – Japan and China on Monday held their first security dialogue involving senior diplomats and defense officials in nearly two years. The talks in Beijing took place as the two countries attempt to set up a maritime and aerial communication mechanism to prevent accidental clashes in and above the East China Sea, where China has been asserting its claim to the Japan-administered Senkaku Islands. The meeting was held before Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's potential first visit to Japan since taking office in 2013. He may visit next month to attend a trilateral summit involving the two countries and South Korea. Kong Xuanyou, China's assistant foreign minister, said he hopes the dialogue will play an "active role in enhancing the momentum of improving ties between the two countries."