Abe's Beijing visit underscores warming China-Japan ties

Abe's Beijing visit underscores warming China-Japan ties

Abe's Beijing visit underscores warming China-Japan ties

Abe met earlier Friday with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and signed a broad range of agreements, including a 30-billion US dollar currency swap pact.

BEIJING-China and Japan agreed Friday to cooperate in developing cities and other infrastructure in Asia, part of a rapprochement during the first formal visit by a Japanese leader to China in seven years.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed here on October 26 that bilateral relations should be switched from competition to cooperation toward a new era.

While anxious about China's growing naval power, Japan is also keen for closer economic ties with its biggest trading partner, but it must manage that rapprochement without upsetting its key security ally, the US.

As close neighbors, Japan and China should push forward bilateral ties on the basis of the principles set in their four political documents and in the spirit of "cooperating in a mutual-beneficial way and never posing a threat to each other", he said.

Speaking to reporters afterward, Li said 500 business agreements worth $18 billion had been signed between Chinese and Japanese companies during the visit, displaying the "bright future" for cooperation between the sides.

Today, October 24, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he was ready to conclude a peace Treaty with Russian Federation only after the Kuril Islands are part of Japan.

He said: "I will have wide-ranging talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and interact with business leaders and captains of industry from both countries".

"The hard issues are going to stay", said Akio Takahara, a professor at the University of Tokyo, adding that he expected relations to remain cordial at least until Xi visits Japan, which he is expected to do for the Group of 20 summit in Osaka next year. Vijay Gokhale, India's Foreign Secretary, said that the meeting between Abe and Xi Jinping would have no bearing on his summit with Modi. "The healthy, steady and long-term development of China-Japan ties is in the fundamental interests of the two countries' people, and represents common expectations of the worldwide community". "Seeing how China has developed is a source of pride for Japan as well". "In other words India, Japan plus one", said Gokhale.

China is Japan's main trading partner, with bilateral trade reaching $300bn past year. Although Japan's alliance with the US keeps the nation in lockstep with Washington on most geopolitical issues, Abe has moved to shore up economic ties with China - its biggest trading partner.

As this year marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship, it provides a good opportunity for the two sides to review the important commitment made 40 years ago and the development of relations over the past 40 years, said Takahara.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will pay a three-day official visit to China from Thursday.

Japanese flags have been raised at Tiananmen Square in the heart of China's capital, a symbolic gesture boosting expectations of an improvement in relations.

China is unlikely to change its position on territorial claims, but during Friday's meetings, Li expressed Beijing's willingness to work together with Tokyo to address regional security issues and support efforts toward dialogue and improving relations with North Korea.

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