• Kyodo —


Japan has proposed resuming talks with China in January aimed at setting up a hotline to avert unforeseen maritime incidents, government sources said Saturday.

Tokyo hopes the hotline between the’ defense authorities will be launched next year. China said it will make plans on the proposal, the sources said.

The proposed “maritime liaison mechanism” is aimed at easing tensions stemming from the sovereignty dispute over the Japan-controlled Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

Japan made the proposal after the first-ever talks between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing in November, where they confirmed senior officials from both countries would start working toward setting up a crisis management mechanism to avert such incidents, they said.

The countries held talks on the issue three times through June 2012. They were halted after China protested Japan’s effective nationalization of the Senkakus in September 2012.