A delegation of senior Japanese politicians has travelled to China on a mission to mend ties between the two neighbours amid a territorial dispute.

The bipartisan delegation departed from Tokyo's Haneda airport this morning on a three-day visit to China, officials said.

The group is led by Masahiko Komura, former foreign minister and vice president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

The mission consisted of nine politicians of both ruling and opposition parties belonging to the Japan-China Friendship Parliamentarians' Union.

During the trip, the Japanese politicians are scheduled to hold talks with former Chinese foreign minister Tang Jiaxuan and other Chinese officials, Japan's public broadcaster NHK said.

The delegation members also hope to meet close aides to Chinese President Xi Jinping in an effort to arrange a summit between Mr Xi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, NHK reported.

The two leaders have yet to hold a summit as relations between Tokyo and Beijing have fallen to their lowest point for years.

Chinese vessels and aircraft regularly approach the East China Sea archipelago, thought to harbour natural resources, after Japan nationalised some of the islands in September 2012.

That set off the latest spate of incidents in the long-running territorial dispute.