The Chinese Navy and Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force have agreed to conduct their first ever joint naval exercise.

A nine-point agreement including a joint military drill was announced by Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanglie during a meeting with his Japanese counterpart Toshimi Kitazawa in Tokyo.

The ministers agreed that the countries would hold a joint search and rescue exercises at an “appropriate time” and would also discuss the installation of a military hotline linking their navies as part of their agreement.