Tokyo: Japan and China have agreed to start operating a hotline between their defence officials amid tensions over disputed islets in the East China Sea, a media report said.
Japanese Defence Minister Nobuo Kishi said that he agreed with his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe for the hotline on Monday during his virtual talks with Wei, reported Kyodo News.
Expressing grave concerns over Chinese coast guard ships' activities in waters surrounding the Japanese -administered Senkaku Islands, Kishi at a press conference after the virtual talks said that the early establishment of a hotline between Japanese and Chinese defence authorities is important.
Notably, Beijing makes claim over Senkaku Islands and calls it the Diaoyu islands.
Beijing will "firmly safeguard its territorial sovereignty as well as maritime rights and interests" over issues surrounding the Senkaku Islands, the Chinese Defence Ministry quoted Wei as saying.
He also called on Tokyo and Beijing to jointly manage and control risks. The Chinese Minister also emphasised focusing on the overall situation of bilateral relations and striving to maintain stability in the East China Sea, according to Kyodo News.
With regard to the hotline, Kishi said that it will issue enhance the efficiency of the communication mechanism. He also said that since there are issues with China, Japan needs to try and keep having candid communication so Tokyo and Beijing can promote exchanges and foster mutual understanding and confidence.