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Chinese FM urges 'new future' for China-Japan ties

16 April 2018

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has begun a visit to Japan - described as a major step forward in improving frosty relations, as Tokyo tries to stay involved in a flurry of worldwide diplomacy over North Korea, a report in the South China Morning Post said on Sunday.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, meeting with his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono on Sunday, said his visit was Beijing's response to Tokyo's positive messages and policies. The event will discuss The Future of Banking - Evolution, Revolution Or Big Bang by bringing together regulators, banks and disrupters, as digitalisation and innovative business models are affecting the environment in which financial institutions operate. 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.

Wang, who spent eight years in Japan as a diplomat, including three as China's ambassador, is scheduled to hold further talks with Kono and other Japanese cabinet ministers on Monday.

After such a meeting, they hoped to organise reciprocal visits by Mr Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Mr Kono said.

"Since previous year, Japan has, in relations with China, displayed a positive message and friendly attitude", Wang said at the meeting, adding that he hoped that the visit would help the two countries move towards better ties.

"We agreed the importance of making it a sea of peace, cooperation and friendship", he said.

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The chief minister, while speaking on this occasion, announced the setting up 25 special courts to try cases under the SC/ST Act. Sengar was asked to join the investigation when he was about to leave for Varanasi.

The world's second and third largest economies have a fraught relationship, complicated by longstanding disputes over maritime claims and Japan's wartime legacy.

China has demonstrated its significant influence over its reclusive ally with Xi hosting Kim and his wife in Beijing.

Kono told Wang that true improvement in bilateral ties can not be achieved without stability in the East China Sea, where China has challenged Japan's sovereignty over uninhabited islets.

With Mr Moon and US President Donald Trump preparing for separate direct talks with Mr Kim, Japan fears being left on the sidelines.

On North Korea, Kono said he and Wang "confirmed that we will work in close coordination, while fully implementing the relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions, to make the complete, irreversible and verifiable abandonment of North Korea's nuclear and missile (programs) a reality".

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

Chinese FM urges 'new future' for China-Japan ties