China and Japan hold high-level trade talks as trade deal nears

16 April, 2018, 03:26 | Author: Wade Massey
  • AFP  Archives  Kazuhiro NOGI- The weekly Shukan Shincho magazine reported that administrative vice minister Junichi Fukuda had sexually harassed a female reporter at a bar

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

"I would like to regard [Wang's visit] as a major step forward in our efforts towards improving Japan-China relations", Kono told Wang at the start of their meeting at the Iikura Guest House.

China's top envoy Wang Yi arrived in Japan yesterday for the first visit by a Chinese foreign minister to Tokyo in more than eight years, amid improving ties.

The visit is also seen as paving the way for a possible trilateral summit next month involving Abe, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and South Korea's Moon. Abe has expressed hopes the exchanges will presage a return to regular reciprocal visits between leaders of the two countries. According to Japanese officials, specific dates for any of the visits are yet to be decided.

The two sides reportedly agreed to continue to fully implement all relevant United Nations resolutions and to work together closely in order to realize the dismantlement of the North's nuclear weapons and missiles.

The Trump-Abe discussions, the second of its kind between the two since previous year, 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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In his post on Twitter late on Thursday, Trump said the United States was working to make a deal with Japan, "who has hit us hard on trade for years!"The Trump administration again refrained from naming any major trading partners as currency manipulators but kept Japan on its monitoring list in a currency report".

Tokyo also hopes to expand its exchanges with China to stay relevant in increasing global efforts to engage with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Kono said he and Wang agreed that their countries need to further develop bilateral relations in order to stabilize the waters.

Long-fraught ties between Tokyo and Beijing deteriorated to a 40-year low after the Japanese government's 2012 purchase of disputed islets near Taiwan sparked Chinese demonstrations, damaged trade and even raised fears of a military clash.

But the move could backfire, as U.S. President Donald Trump could demand renegotiating terms for the pact or talks for a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) - both outcomes Japan wants to avoid.

Japanese and Chinese officials are expected to discuss opportunities for economic cooperation including trade and investment during the talks, a first such meeting between the two countries in almost eight years. According to Japanese officials, the dialogue is the first in almost eight years.

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