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China, Japan Ministers pave way for rare summits

| | Tokyo

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.

After rare talks with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, Taro Kono said the ministers had "forward-looking" and "fulfilling" discussions about rebuilding ties between the Asian powers.

They agreed that Japan would host a trilateral summit between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, without setting a date. After such a meeting, they hoped to organise reciprocal visits by Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Kono said.

"We agreed to fully improve the bilateral relations through exchanges of the leaders ... With Premier Li's visit at the time of the trilateral talks as the starting step," Kono told reporters.

However, Kono warned there would be "no true improvement of Japan-China relations without stability in the East China Sea"."We agreed the importance of making it a sea of peace, cooperation and friendship," he said.

The world's second and third largest economies have a fraught relationship, complicated by longstanding maritime disputes and Japan's wartime legacy.

 
 
 
 
 

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