Japan PM Abe says visit to China being arranged for next month

Wednesday, 2018-09-12 20:33:03
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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (L) shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a session of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia September 12, 2018. (Sourrce: TASS Host Photo Agency/Pool via Reuters).
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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, speaking in Vladivostok after meeting Chinese leader Xi Jinping, said on September 12 they had agreed to work towards an October visit by him to China, the latest sign of warming ties between the Asian rivals.

Abe also said he and Xi shared the view that Japan and China bore responsibility for world peace and prosperity, as well as the goal of achieving the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)'s denuclearisation.

His comments, made on the sidelines of a regional forum in the east Russian city, were aired on Japan's NHK public broadcaster.

"In response to China's gracious invitation, I intend to visit China this year, the year in which we commemorate the 40th anniversary of the conclusion of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Japan and China," Abe told the forum later.

"After that, I very much wish to invite President Xi to Japan. Through this exchange of visits at the leaders' level, I hope to raise Japan-China relations to a new stage."

Speaking later in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said China had already issued an invitation to Abe, and both sides were in communication about it.

"We hope both sides can work hard to create a good atmosphere and conditions for the visit," Geng said at a daily news briefing.

Xi told Abe that Sino-Japanese ties "face an important opportunity for improvement. Under the new circumstances, we should continue to meet each other halfway, maintain the positive momentum and promote the stable development of China-Japan relations to attain even greater expansion (of ties)," according to a statement by the Chinese foreign ministry.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship.

Prime Minister Abe and the Japanese government have recently made a positive gesture toward the ties with China, said the Chinese president.

With efforts from both sides, the China-Japan relations have entered the right track and are facing an important opportunity for improvement, Xi said, calling on the two countries to meet each other halfway, maintain good momentum, steadily carry forward bilateral ties and achieve greater development under new circumstances.

Reuters, Xinhua