Top Diplomats of China, Japan Agree to Cooperate on N. Korean Issues


The Japan-China High-Level Economic Dialogue was being held Monday in Tokyo for the first time since August 2010.

After rare talks with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, Taro Kono said the ministers had "forward-looking" and "fulfilling" discussions about rebuilding ties between the Asian powers.

However, Kono warned there would be "no true improvement of Japan-China relations without stability in the East China Sea". According to Japanese officials, specific dates for any of the visits are yet to be decided.

"We would like to co-operate further towards the common goal between Japan and China, of establishing a complete, irreversible and verifiable denuclearization of North Korea", Kono said as the two began talks in Tokyo.

Abe, who is due to meet with Trump in Florida on Tuesday to discuss North Korea, may also meet with Wang. However, talks resumed last month with all sides expressing interest in a swift resolution.

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.

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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.

Wang, who spent eight years in Japan as a diplomat including three as ambassador, said the changing economic climate presented fresh opportunities.

China and Japan have resumed high-level economic talks after a hiatus of almost eight years in a sign of improving ties in their often-frosty relationship.

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.

"I hope that today we can discuss closer, tighter economic cooperation as well as the regional and global economic situations", Kono added. According to Japanese officials, the dialogue is the first in almost eight years.