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Japan, China to set up emergency mechanism to prevent maritime accidents

November 11, 2014, 9:49 UTC+3 TOKYO
It will allow to exchange urgent messages in an effort to avoid accidents and conflicts in the territorial waters of Japan and China
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Uotsuri Island, one of the disputed Senkaku islands

Uotsuri Island, one of the disputed Senkaku islands

© EPA/HIROYA SHIMOJI

TOKYO, November 11. /TASS/. Japan and China are developing a “maritime communication mechanism” to prevent accidents at sea, Japanese Defense Minister Akinori Eto told reporters on Tuesday.

The sides plan to implement the mechanism in the near future allowing to exchange urgent messages in an effort to avoid accidents and conflicts in the territorial waters of Japan and China.

Chinese vessels have been repeatedly seen near the disputed Senkaku Islands, also known as the Diaoyu Islands. The tensions over the territory increased in September 2012 after Tokyo announced plans to buy the islands from private owners.

Beijing maintains that Japan had annexed the islands by force and they should be given back to China under the terms of Tokyo’s surrender during World War II. Japan has refused to negotiate the issue.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping held their first meeting over the past two years on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing, signaling a potential thaw in their countries’ relations.

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