Talks between Asia's two biggest economies on setting up a maritime communication mechanism to avert accidental conflict in the East China Sea will begin soon, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said yesterday in Beijing. Speaking a day after his first meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping since both took power two years ago, Abe said the neighbours were "inseparably bound" and should bear responsibility for the region's peace and prosperity. "Countries sharing borders will encounter various issues from time to time. This is the same everywhere in the world, [and] that is precisely why we should have dialogue again and again," Abe said. "I am confident that we can seek solutions to any problem when two leaders meet and discuss frankly with each other." Abe said he and Xi both agreed to move forward with specific consultations to implement a maritime communication mechanism, which will become the channel to avert any clash in the East China Sea. A similar mechanism was proposed under then Chinese premier Wen Jiabao but it was never put in place. The two countries have been locked in a sovereignty dispute over an island chain - known as the Diaoyus in China and the Senkakus in Japan - in the East China Sea. Tensions have been escalating since 2012, when Japan nationalised some of the islands under Abe's predecessor. China has since increased naval and civilian maritime patrols in the area, which is under Japan's administrative control. Abe said he hoped the two countries could conduct further dialogue at various levels, and "by taking stock of such dialogue, we will most likely begin to have an image of [the] next summit between the leaders," he said. The meeting between the two leaders on Monday on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders' summit lasted only 25 minutes. The meeting's brevity, the comparatively small number of representatives from each side and the two leaders' icy facial expressions cast doubt on whether they could narrow their differences. Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said Tokyo's position on the disputed islands remained unchanged. The English-language edition of Global Times , a tabloid newspaper affiliated with People's Daily , carried an editorial yesterday urging Abe to "honour his words" after the meeting. "Chinese society has scant trust in Abe. We hope he can realise the severity of this problem and show China and Asia concrete actions that prove he will shoulder responsibility toward the peace and stability of Northeast Asia," it said. Xinhua warned in a commentary that the meeting did not mean the worst was over in bilateral ties and Japan should "prove with concrete actions that it cherishes this hard-earned opportunity".