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Japan, China pledge to work on economic ties amid heightened trade tensions
16 April 2018, 09:18 | Devin Moran
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visits Japan for talks on North Korea, regional issues
China's top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, is the first Chinese foreign minister to visitJapan in a bilateral context in nine years.
The leaders of China and Japan are expected to pay reciprocal visits as relations between their countries warm, the Japanese foreign minister said on Sunday.
Wang, who will be in Tokyo until Tuesday, will also take part in the fourth China-Japan High-level Economic Dialogue.
While ties between Tokyo and Beijing have a troubled history, relations seem to have strengthened following Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's diplomatic visit in January.
Noting that this year marks 40 years since the signing of a bilateral peace and friendship treaty, Kono said he and Wang agreed to work for the improvement of bilateral relations across the board.
Since the Japanese government purchased most of the Senkaku Islands from Japanese owner in 2012, China has frequently sent its ships into Japanese territorial waters around them, raising fears that unintended conflict between Japan and China could be sparked in the area. Japan has come in for criticism from U.S. President Donald Trump on trade and been hit with tariffs on steel and aluminum, but Japan has not yet threatened counter-tariffs.
"But together with Japan's efforts. we would like to bring China-Japan relations back on a path of sustainable and normal development". "We confirmed that we shall continue our close coordination while also completely implementing related UN Security Council resolutions to realise the irreversible, verifiable and complete denuclearisation of North Korea and its missiles".
China has replaced the U.S.as the number one trading partner for most nations in Asia, even those that have military alliances with the USA, like South Korea, Japan and Australia.
Wang said his visit was in response to Japan's positive attitude towards China.
"After reopening these talks we're both standing at new starting points to discuss future cooperation that will, I hope, lead to fresh economic growth for both nations", Wang said.
Japanese officials are also eager to avoid trade friction with the United States, with the issue to be discussed in the Abe and Trump talks later this week.
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