Sunday, 15 July, 2018

Japan and China's foreign ministers pledge to pursue improved ties

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Jay Anderson | 16 April, 2018, 12:05

They have agreed to further consolidate the improvement in bilateral ties ahead of a summit with South Korea set for May.

Earlier on Monday, the daily Sankei newspaper reported that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had decided that Mr Fukuda must be fired, without citing a source.

With the USA government's restraints on steel and aluminium imports, China and Japan will also exchange views on the significance of free trade and look to ease escalating global trade tensions.

"I hope that we will be able to discuss what and China can work together on in the worldwide arena, not just bilateral issues", Kono told reporters on Friday.

Mr Wang said his visit was China's answer to "positive" messages and policies by Japan.

"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", he said.




South Korean President Moon Jae In and US President Donald Trump are preparing for separate direct talks with Mr Kim.

"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". The two sides are expected to discuss Japan's possible involvement in China's "Belt and Road" initiative. While Wang did not specifically refer to a leadership meeting, according to China's foreign ministry, he said his visit had established the conditions for the "next step" in high-level exchanges.

Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono and Wang did not specifically mention the proposed U.S. trade policies, as its implementation and consequences were still unclear.

"For the Abe administration, China is essential to effectively pressuring North Korea", said Madoka Fukuda, a professor of global politics at Hosei University in Tokyo.

Despite the diplomatic push, tensions over territory and Japan's militarist history remain.

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.

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