China and Japan hold high-level trade talks as trade deal nears

Eels are widely consumed across Japan

Eels are widely consumed across Japan

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.

Japan hopes the summit will prompt a trip by Abe to China, and in turn, a visit to Japan by Xi.

"We agreed to fully improve the bilateral relations through exchanges of the leaders". Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping past year promised to reset the sometimes fraught relations between Asia's two largest economies.

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A poll published in December found a marked fall in the percentage of respondents in Japan and China who saw ties between the two countries negatively.

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.

Wang told reporters on his arrival in Japan earlier in the day that he will explain the situation in North Korea following talks between Chinese President Xi Jinping and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Beijing late last month. The U.S-North Korean talks are aimed at ending a stand off over Pyongyang's development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

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"To establish a complete, irreversible and verifiable denuclearization of North Korea we agreed to continue to fully implement all relevant United Nations resolutions and to work closely together", Kono said.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi yesterday began a visit to Japan described as a major step forward in improving frosty relations, as Tokyo tries to stay involved in a flurry of worldwide diplomacy over North Korea.

On Tuesday Japanese Self Defense Force officers will meet counterparts from China's People's Liberation Army at a reception hosted by the Sasakawa Peace Foundation in an effort to build trust between the military rivals.

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