World

China, Japan hold first high-level economic dialogue in eight years

China, Japan hold first high-level economic dialogue in eight years

The Yomiuri ShimbunThe Japanese government has chose to propose a new framework for discussing trade issues between Japan and the United States, at a summit meeting between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. President Donald Trump in the United States on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Economy Minister Toshimitsu Motegi is likely to lead the Japanese delegation, with his counterpart likely to be U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the paper said, without citing sources.

Japan hopes the summit will prompt a trip by Abe to China, and in turn, a visit to Japan by Xi.

However, Kono warned there would be "no true improvement of Japan-China relations without stability in the East China Sea".

Japanese officials said Kono and Wang agreed on the importance of maintaining the world's system of free trade.

Since the Japanese government purchased most of the Senkaku Islands from Japanese owner in 2012, China has frequently sent its ships into Japanese territorial waters around them, raising fears that unintended conflict between Japan and China could be sparked in the area. 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.

"But together with Japan's efforts. we would like to bring China-Japan relations back on a path of sustainable and normal development".

Wang, a former ambassador to Japan, said his visit was China's response to "positive" messages and policies from Tokyo but acknowledged "some complex and sensitive elements".

However, the move could backfire, as US 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. Mr Kono stressed that Japan and China share the same goal on North Korea.

Abe, who is due to meet with Trump in Florida on Tuesday to discuss North Korea, may also meet with Wang.

Wang's trip also follows an official visit by Kono to Beijing earlier this year, and marks the first visit by a Chinese foreign minister to Japan in a bilateral context in nine years.


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