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INTERNATIONAL > East Asia & Pacific

Japan, China agree to improve bilateral relations

  • April 16, 2018
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  • JMH Summary

All Monday papers reported extensively on a meeting held in Tokyo yesterday between Foreign Minister Kono and his Chinese counterpart Wang, during which they agreed to pursue full-scale improvement in bilateral relations by arranging a trip to Japan by Premier Li for a trilateral summit with South Korea in early May and reciprocal visits to each other’s capitals by President Xi and Prime Minister Abe. The two diplomats also forged a consensus on taking a concerted approach toward North Korea and firmly enforcing UN sanctions to press it to abandon its nuclear weapons in a complete, verifiable, and irreversible manner. Kono asked Wang for China’s support in resolving the abduction issue. They agreed to pursue the early launch of a communication mechanism between the SDF and the PLA to head off inadvertent clashes in the East China Sea. According to Nikkei, the two ministers also confirmed the importance of upholding a free and open trade system based on WTO rules with the Trump administration’s trade policy in mind.  

 

The dailies explained that the Japanese and Chinese governments are eager to strengthen bilateral ties, noting that Abe, in order to draw public attention to his diplomatic accomplishments, aims to have Xi visit Japan at an early date. Beijing is reportedly keen to establish stable ties with Tokyo especially at a time when its relations with Washington are strained over trade friction. The two nations, however, are still at odds other over how to achieve North Korea’s denuclearization, with Tokyo insisting on maintaining strong pressure while Beijing prefers to promote dialogue.       

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