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China, Japan resume economic talks after 8 years

16 April 2018

China's top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, is the first Chinese foreign minister to visit Japan in a bilateral context in nine years.

The Japan-China High-Level Economic Dialogue was being held Monday in Tokyo for the first time since August 2010.

Abe and Xi have not held talks in the format of an official visit by either side since both men took office in 2012, but years of strain on bilateral relations due to historical and territorial grievances have recently given way to a thaw.

Trump late on Thursday tweeted that the U.S. is working to make a deal with Japan, "who has hit us hard on trade for years!" He last visited Japan in August 2016 for a trilateral meeting with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts. According to Japanese officials, specific dates for any of the visits are yet to be decided.

Japan is to propose setting up a framework to discuss trade issues with the U.S. in a summit next week, in the hopes of persuading it to rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Nikkei newspaper said yesterday.

The Trump-Abe discussions, the second of its kind between the two since a year ago, would continue with a larger bilateral meeting where the leaders could expand their discussions to include a range of "priority bilateral issues", said the official.

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However, Kono warned there would be "no true improvement of Japan-China relations without stability in the East China Sea".

Kono told Wang that true improvement in bilateral ties can not be achieved without stability in the East China Sea, where China has challenged Japan's sovereignty over uninhabited islets.

Wang said China and Japan should maintain momentum in the development of bilateral relations through mutual efforts such as high-level contacts.

The ministers agreed to strive for the early implementation of a "Maritime and Aerial Communication Mechanism" to prevent unintended collisions in the area.

Kono met Wang in Beijing in January.

China and Japan have resumed high-level economic talks after a hiatus of almost eight years in a sign of improving ties in their often-frosty relationship.

China, Japan resume economic talks after 8 years