Chinese FM urges 'new future' for China-Japan ties

Eel is a delicacy enjoyed all over Japan

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has begun a visit to Japan - described as a major step forward in improving frosty relations, as Tokyo tries to stay involved in a flurry of global diplomacy over North Korea, a report in the South China Morning Post said on Sunday.

Wang's arrival in Tokyo comes ahead of a summit between the two Koreas this month and a meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump.

"I would like to regard (Mr Wang's visit) as a major step forward in our efforts towards improving Japan-China relations", Mr Kono said at the start of their meeting.

The agreement came as Chinese Foreign Minster Wang Yi makes a rare visit to Tokyo, in a sign of improving cooperation between Asia's two largest economies as they face policy whiplash from the USA over trade and security.

"I hope that we will be able to discuss what and China can work together on in the worldwide arena, not just bilateral issues", Kono told reporters on Friday.

Kono, who visited Beijing in January, stressed that Japan and China shared the same goal on North Korea.

Li is set to visit Japan next month for a trilateral summit with Abe and South Korean President Moon Jae In.

Noting that this year marks 40 years since the signing of a bilateral peace and friendship treaty, Kono said he and Wang agreed to work for the improvement of bilateral relations across the board.

Trump defends use of "mission accomplished" phrase for Syria strike
US Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer warned of the risks of being drawn into "a greater and more involved war in Syria". Trump has made clear he wants to withdraw the roughly 2000 USA troops involved in the anti-Islamic State campaign in Syria.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi says he has reconfirmed the Japanese government's willingness to improve bilateral ties.

Since the Japanese government purchased most of the Senkaku Islands from Japanese owner in 2012, China has frequently sent its ships into Japanese territorial waters around them, raising fears that unintended conflict between Japan and China could be sparked in the area.

He said the 2 countries should also put their ties back on the right path of development so that they can open the way for a new future.

Wang said the visit was a response to Japan's positive attitude toward China.

A high-level Japan-China economic dialogue will resume Monday, amid concerns in both countries about the potential for a trade war sparked by the US.

Kono said that he hoped the first economic dialogue between the countries in eight years would be a "fruitful discussion".

Wang's trip to meet his Japanese counterpart, Taro Kono, became the first of its kind in more than eight years.

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