A top Chinese government official met Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo on Wednesday, agreeing to promote a "mutually beneficial strategic relationship" between the two Asian titans despite the latest diplomatic row over the 1937 Nanking Massacre, a Japanese official said.

Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi paid a courtesy visit to Abe at the prime minister's office. The meeting lasted about 45 minutes, much longer than originally planned, according to the high-ranking Japanese official who attended the meeting.

Abe and Yang also agreed to begin operating a hotline between military officials to prevent "unexpected events," the official said, likely referring to the potential for incidents in the Japanese-claimed Senkaku Islands, in the East China Sea. The islands, known as Diaoyu in China, are also claimed by Beijing.