China, Japan resume economic talks after 8 years

China, Japan resume economic talks after 8 years

Wang, who spent eight years in Japan as a diplomat, including three as China's ambassador, is scheduled to hold further talks with Kono and other Japanese Cabinet ministers on Monday.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono said Sunday he and Chinese counterpart Wang Yi agreed to go forward with mutual visits by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Japan will propose setting up a new framework to discuss trade issues with the United States in a summit next week, in hopes of persuading it to rejoin the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Nikkei newspaper said on Saturday.

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.

However, Kono warned there would be "no true improvement of Japan-China relations without stability in the East China Sea". So this week, Japan will have to walk a fine line, balancing often tense relations with its biggest trading partner against the demands of its second-largest trading partner, who is also its military ally and guarantor of its security.

But Tokyo is eager to get the relationship back on a firmer footing, especially as it fears being shut out of negotiations on North Korea's nuclear programme in which Beijing is likely to be a major player.

Travellers in Haneda Airport
Travellers in Haneda Airport

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.

"We had direct and in-depth discussions on North Korea in light of the current situation", he told reporters after the meeting, without revealing details.

"To establish a complete, irreversible and verifiable denuclearisation of North Korea we agreed to continue to fully implement all relevant United Nations resolutions and to work closely together", Kono said.

"Since previous year, Japan has, in relations with China, displayed a positive message and friendly attitude", Wang said at the meeting, adding that he hoped that the visit would help the two countries move towards better ties.

"But together with Japan's efforts. we would like to bring China-Japan relations back on a path of sustainable and normal development".

Abe, who is due to meet with Trump in Florida on Tuesday to discuss North Korea, may also meet with Wang.

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