Published: Mon, April 16, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

China, Japan hold first high-level economic dialogue in eight years

China, Japan hold first high-level economic dialogue in eight years

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang and Japan's Foreign Minister Kono gesture at their meeting in Tokyo Thomson Reuters TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Foreign Affairs Minister Taro Kono said on Sunday that Tokyo and Beijing needed to work more closely together to denuclearize North Korea, in comments made during a meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi.

Kono said, "I hope to hold active discussions about regional and global economic issues".

Wang, a former ambassador to Japan, said his visit was China's response to "positive" messages and policies from Tokyo but acknowledged "some complex and sensitive elements". Mr Kono stressed that Japan and China share the same goal on North Korea.

With China and South Korea already boasting a successful trade deal, today's talks will strengthen the Sino-Japanese relationship, which is perhaps the weakest link between the three and an important step ahead of the next trilateral summit come next month.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has decided that a top finance ministry bureaucrat accused of sexually harassing several female reporters must be fired, the daily Sankei newspaper reported on Monday.

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They also discussed the vision each country has for the wider region, namely Japan's "free and open Indo-Pacific" strategy and China's "One Belt, One Road" infrastructure megaproject.

Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono and Wang did not specifically mention the proposed USA trade policies, as its implementation and consequences were still unclear. The U.S-North Korea talks are aimed at ending a stand-off over Pyongyang's development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

Long-fraught ties between Tokyo and Beijing deteriorated to a 40-year low after the Japanese government's 2012 purchase of disputed islets near Taiwan sparked Chinese demonstrations, damaged trade and even raised fears of a military clash.

Despite the diplomatic push, tensions over territory and Japan's militarist history remain. Japan's Self-Defence Forces activated a new amphibious unit to help defend remote islands just a week ago. He urged Japan to use "history as a mirror", and not view each other as threats.

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