China says it and Japan have agreed to ramp up high-level contacts following a virtual freeze of more than two years due to tensions over a territorial dispute.

The announcement Friday is the strongest indication yet of a possible meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at next week's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

China's Foreign Ministry says the two sides agreed to "gradually resume political, diplomatic and security dialogues."

No meeting has been announced, though Xi and Abe are widely expected to at least hold some kind of tete-a-tete during the summit next Monday and Tuesday. However, it is unclear whether anything substantial would be discussed.

High-level ties have been frozen since September 2012 amid tensions over East China Sea islands claimed by both sides.