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Japan, China agree on creating communication mechanism to avoid clashes

January 13, 2015, 9:23 UTC+3 TOKYO
The communication mechanism in particular envisages setting up a special “hotline” between the Japanese coast guard and China’s maritime police
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© EPA/DAVID CHANG

TOKYO, January 13. /TASS/. Japan and China have agreed to create a special communication mechanism to avoid unintended maritime and air clashes, Japanese Defense Minister Gen Nakatani told journalists on Tuesday.

The minister said this is a “very important step taking into account the high risk of such incidents, including in the East China Sea.”

Tokyo and Beijing resumed talks Monday on developing a tool to prevent crisis situations in the area of the disputed Senkaku islands in the East China Sea. The talks in such a format were suspended in 2012.

The communication mechanism in particular envisages setting up a special “hotline” between the Japanese coast guard and China’s maritime police, and also using a common radio frequency for communications in emergency situations.

Tensions over the group of uninhabited islands increased in September 2012 after Tokyo announced plans to buy them from private owners. After that move, mass anti-Japanese protests hit China.

Since then, Chinese vessels have been repeatedly seen near the disputed Senkaku Islands, also known as the Diaoyu Islands in China.

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.

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