State media say China and Japan have resumed high-level talks on maritime issues, in a sign they want to improve relations that have been badly strained in recent years by territorial disputes and wartime historical issues.

China's official Xinhua News Agency said Wednesday that senior ministry officials met for two days in the eastern city of Qingdao to exchange views on issues in the East China Sea and maritime cooperation.

Japan's Foreign Ministry said the two sides agreed to hold talks on setting up a maritime hotline between their defense ministries.

Japan's Kyodo News agency also reported that a Chinese vice premier separately commented on Wednesday that he wants an early resumption of a high-level economic talks with Japan, which have been suspended since 2010.


Associated Press writer Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo contributed to this report.