Japanese hopeful of ties with China

China Japan draw closer as Asia's diplomatic order shifts

Pool via CNN Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe South Korean President Moon Jae-in

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Republic of Korea President Moon Jae-in met in the Japanese capital on Wednesday and agreed that the Northeast Asian neighbors will cooperate on ending North Korea's nuclear programme and promoting free trade.

The Japanese attendees briefly reviewed the history of the signing of the Japan-China Treaty of Peace and Friendship, voicing full agreement with Premier Li's remarks.

Visiting Chinese Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan (R) shakes hands with Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Hiroshige Seko during their meeting in Tokyo, Japan, on May 9, 2018.

Abe said regional-level exchanges have kept the bond between the 2 countries alive regardless of the relations between the central governments.

Li is in Japan for an official visit.

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"There is a danger of a new arrangement in their region in which both Japan and China have an interest without their full participation". The three leaders expressed a commitment to free trade and globalization.

"We must take the recent momentum towards denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula and towards peace and security in Northeast Asia, and, cooperating even further with worldwide society, make sure this is linked to concrete action by North Korea", Abe told a news conference after the meeting.

Forty years ago, the older generation of leaders from China and Japan showed great farsight and strategic resolve by concluding the treaty, said Li.

Akihito said he hopes "our relations of goodwill and friendship will improve", according to the royal household.

For his part, Yohei Kono, former speaker of the Japanese House of Representatives, said he was amazed by the popularity of new services like bike-sharing, mobile payment and Internet-based delivery during his recent visit to China.

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"Cooperation will be good for both China and Japan, as long as it's honest".

"The volume of trade in the China-Japan-South Korea zone is 23 percent of the global trade turnover, while in the European Union and NAFTA the figure stands at 21 percent and 27 percent, respectively".

Since World War II, China and Japan have had a rocky relationship, often driven apart by lingering resentment over Imperial Japan's atrocities during the war.

China is still a developing country, Li stated frankly.

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