Japan and China launched a communication hotline on Friday to avert accidental clashes at sea and in the air, local media reports.
The agreement to implement the Maritime and Aerial Communication Mechanism was reached in May, which also includes annual gatherings between senior Japanese and Chinese defense officials to discuss the mechanism, The Japan Times reports.
After agreeing with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang in Tokyo to implement the mechanism, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he hopes the system will help ease tensions and build trust so “the East China Sea will become a sea of peace, cooperation and friendship.”
Under the mechanism, Japan and China will host in turn annual senior official and expert-level meetings to look into the operation of the system and technical problems that need to be addressed.
The two countries also confirmed in their agreement that the Self-Defense Forces and the Chinese military will continue to abide by existing communications protocols between vessels and aircraft to prevent an escalation of tensions.
Written notification will be required if either country decides to suspend or terminate the agreement.