China, Japan ministers pave way for rare summits

The weekly Shukan Shincho magazine reported that Japan's administrative vice finance minister Junichi Fukuda had sexually harassed a female reporter at a bar

The weekly Shukan Shincho magazine reported that Japan's administrative vice finance minister Junichi Fukuda had sexually harassed a female reporter at a bar

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will meet with his Japanese counterpart today in what will be the first high-level economic dialogue between the two countries in almost a decade.

The Chinese side was led by Foreign Minister Wang Yi, the first visit by a Chinese foreign minister for bilateral talks since 2009.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged a year ago to reset the sometimes touchy relationship between Asia's two largest economic powers. "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. The neighbours remain at odds, however, over China's growing military presence in the South China Sea, through which much of the region's sea-borne trade sails, and a dispute over ownership of uninhabited islets in the East China Sea, known as the Senkaku in Tokyo and the Diaoyu in Beijing.

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"Since a year ago Japan has, in relations with China, displayed a positive message and friendly attitude", he said.

Wang said his visit was in response to Japan's positive attitude towards China. China demonstrated its significant influence over its reclusive ally when Xi hosted the North's leader Kim Jong-un and his wife in Beijing last month. Japan has come in for criticism from U.S. President Donald Trump on trade and been hit with tariffs on steel and aluminum, but Japan has not yet threatened counter-tariffs.

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.

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Wang spent eight years in Japan as a diplomat with three of those years as China's ambassador. Mr Kono stressed that Japan and China share the same goal on North Korea.

Abe, who is due to meet Trump in Florida on Tuesday to discuss North Korea, will meet Wang on Monday.

Wang, who will be in Tokyo until Tuesday, will also participate in the fourth China-Japan High-level Economic Dialogue.

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