MANILA - Japan and China are taking their "bilateral relations to the new stage," as the two Asian powers agreed to cooperate for regional peace and stability, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday.
"I held summit talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Kequiang making a new start in Sino-Japanese relationship," Abe said in a press conference on the sidelines of a 2-day regional summit.
"The important point is to build win-win relationships which is rules-based, free and open."
Abe met with Xi in Vietnam during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit, while the meeting with Li happened on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in the Philippines.
Japan and China have agreed to enhance economic, security, tourism, and cultural cooperation, but Abe did not mention if Tokyo and Beijing agreed to set aside conflicting maritime claims amid their decision to forge "deeper ties."
Tokyo and Beijing have been feuding over the ownership of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. Japan had also been a vocal critic of China's sweeping claims and military ambitions in the South China Sea, a strategic waterway where about $5 billion in trade pass annually.
Japan was also among world powers to support the crafting of a sea code that would manage tensions in the South China Sea.
Abe said Japan will support China's Belt and Road Initiative, a massive cross-continent development of transportation and trading networks, provided that projects will be "open and transparent."
"The Abe Cabinet will be even more positive in its foreign policy which takes a panoramic view of the world map," he said.