China declares intention to improve ties with Japan
China hopes to work with Japan to establish more cordial relations, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Japanese counterpart on Sunday, aiming to move on from a series of disputes, some dating back to before World War Two, Reuters reported.
The two nations have sought to improve ties more recently, with Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping having met in November on the sidelines of a regional summit in Vietnam.
Wang told Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono that his trip to Beijing, coming so early in the year, showed Japan’s strong wish to improve relations and that China approves of this because better ties would be in both nations’ interests.
Though there has been positive progress, there are also many “disturbances and obstacles”, Wang said, but the minister also pointed to comments from Abe on wanting to improve relations.
“China-Japan ties always sail against the current, either forging ahead or drifting backward,” Wang said in front of reporters at the start of talks with his counterpart.
“We hope that the Japanese side will neither relax in its efforts nor fall back, and turn the spoken statements into concrete actions.”
Kono, who later met Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, said that the two countries shared a major responsibility in safeguarding the stability and prosperity of Asia and the world at large.
“Not only do we need to manage our bilateral relations, but we also need to work together to deal with issues facing the entire globe, in particular the issue of North Korea,” Kono said. “We desire to extend mutual cooperation between our two countries in working towards resolving this issue.”