China and Japan are holding their first security talks in more than two years, with North Korea's missile program expected to top the agenda.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei and his Japanese counterpart Tsuneo Nishida are heading the talks Friday in Beijing.
North Korea's test-firing of several missiles earlier this month has strained already tense relations between China and Japan. Japan had urged U.N. Security Council members to support a resolution that would impose sanctions on North Korea. But China, one of North Korea's last remaining allies, favors diplomatic negotiations.
Japan and China also are at odds over issues including Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's repeated visits to a controversial war shrine. Another issue of contention is rival claims to undersea gas deposits in the East China Sea.
China and Japan have held nine security meetings since 1993.