China urges joint efforts with Japan for relations development

29 January, 2018, 02:50 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • China urges joint efforts with Japan for relations development

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono met his counterpart Wang Yi in Beijing on Sunday in an attempt to improve relations held back by longstanding and seemingly intractable disputes over maritime territory and Japan's wartime legacy.

China on Friday said it was "strongly dissatisfied" with the opening of a museum in Tokyo devoted to disputed islands, as the Japanese foreign minister prepares to visit Beijing this weekend.

During the meetings in Beijing, Kono is also aiming to make arrangements with China to hold as soon as possible a trilateral summit also involving South Korea, which Tokyo wanted to host past year, the official said.

Wang noted that the visit of the Japanese foreign minister at the beginning of 2018 was a sign of Tokyo's strong wish to improve the bilateral relations and expressed hope that the visit would bring about positive results.

Kono and Wang also agreed to hold as soon as possible a trilateral summit including South Korea, which Tokyo wanted to host past year, the Japanese official said.

Relations between the two countries have always been tense because of historical issues and their territorial disputes over the uninhabited Diaoyu Islands, known as the Senkakus in Japan, in the East China Sea that are controlled by Tokyo but also claimed by Beijing.

'The two sides should take the opportunity of the 40th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship to eliminate barriers and promote improvement of ties, ' Yang said.

In addition, North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear ambitions were on the agenda during the meeting, as Japan has asked China to exercise leverage over Pyongyang and play a key role in forcing the country to change its policy.

They are administered by Japan, where they are known as "Senkaku", but also claimed by China, which calls them "Diaoyu". They are known as "Dokdo" in Korean and "Takeshima" in Japanese.

Mr Kono yesterday lodged a protest over Beijing's decision to send a nuclear-powered submarine to the area earlier this month.

South Korea was the previous host of the trilateral summit in 2015. Tokyo is due to host the next one, but a plan to hold one in 2016 was dropped against the backdrop of political turmoil in South Korea.

Kono is slated to return to Tokyo early Monday.

Officials are also arranging meetings with other Chinese senior officials including Premier Li Keqiang.

Agreements reached during Kono's trip included resuming reciprocal visits, holding the trilateral summit with South Korea, continuing to work together to denuclearise the Korean peninsula, and implementing a maritime and air communication mechanism in the East China Sea.



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