Abe hails 'fresh start' to Japan-China ties after Xi meeting

Reuters

Posted at Nov 12 2017 01:18 AM

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Composite

DA NANG—Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping hailed a "fresh start" to the relationship between the countries after a meeting in Vietnam that saw them agree to work more closely on North Korea.

The leaders met on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in the Vietnamese resort city of Da Nang.

Ties between China and Japan, the world's second- and third-largest economies, have been plagued by a long-running territorial dispute over a cluster of East China Sea islets.

"At the end of the meeting, President Xi said this is a meeting that marks a fresh start of relations between Japan and China. I totally feel the same way," Abe told reporters.

Abe said he has proposed to visit China at an appropriate time, which would then be followed by a Xi visit to Japan.

At the meeting, the two countries agreed to deepen their cooperation on North Korea and to hold a trilateral summit with South Korea at the earliest possible date.

"With the North Korea situation at an important phase, the role China ought to play is very big," Abe said.

China and Japan have also agreed to accelerate talks for an early implementation of a communication mechanism between their military forces, Abe said. He also proposed that Japan and China cooperate in doing business in third countries.