Japan suggests hotline to Beijing over island spat
TOKYO (AFP) - Japan has suggested setting up a military hotline with China to avoid clashes between the two countries, which are at loggerheads over a group of disputed islands, Tokyo's defence minister said on Saturday.
The proposal came after Tokyo accused a Chinese frigate of locking its weapons-tracking radar on a Japanese destroyer - a claim Beijing has denied.
The incident, which Japan said happened last week, marked the first time the two nations' navies have locked horns in a territorial dispute that provoked fears of armed conflict breaking out between the two.
The neighbours - also the world's second and third-largest economies - have seen ties sour over the uninhabited Japanese-controlled islands in the East China Sea, known as Senkaku in Tokyo and Diaoyu by Beijing, which claims them.