Japan, China hope to lift ties to new level: Abe - RTHK
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Japan, China hope to lift ties to new level: Abe

2018-09-12 HKT 16:29
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  • Russian President Vladimir Putin (centre) shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as President Xi Jinping looks on in Vladivostok. Photo: AP
    Russian President Vladimir Putin (centre) shakes hands with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as President Xi Jinping looks on in Vladivostok. Photo: AP
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Wednesday said his meeting with President Xi Jinping was "highly significant" and he hoped relations between the two Asian nations will rise to a new level.

Abe also confirmed he plans to visit China this year in what would be the first trip to the country by a Japanese prime minister since 2011.

"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 said in a speech at an economic forum in the far eastern Russian city of Vladivostok.

"After that, I very much wish to invite President Xi to Japan," said Abe, speaking after meeting President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the forum.

"Through this exchange of visits at the leaders' level, I hope to raise Japan-China relations to a new stage. I am firmly determined in this regard."

Japanese media have suggested that Abe's visit would be timed to the anniversary of the Sino-Japanese friendship treaty signed on October 23, 1978.

Abe and Xi have met numerous times over the last few years on the sidelines of international events.

However no Japanese prime minister has paid an official visit to China since 2011 and no Chinese president has visited Japan since 2010.

Abe praised his meeting with Xi, saying they held "highly significant talks regarding Japan-China relations and the various issues that we face together."

A Japanese foreign ministry spokesman, Takeshi Osuga, said the two leaders "shared their determination to promote bilateral relations and to make progress on all fronts." (AFP)