Japan PM Abe holds out olive branch to China after months of tension
TOKYO (AFP) - Hawkish Japanese premier Shinzo Abe held out an olive branch to China on Tuesday, sending a letter to Beijing's leader-in-waiting to be hand delivered by a coalition ally.
The move comes after months of diplomatic tussles between China and Japan over the sovereignty of a disputed island chain in the East China Sea that have seen repeated maritime encounters.
Mr Natsuo Yamaguchi, head of the New Komeito party, was expected to stay in Beijing for four days, during which time he would meet China's incoming president, Xi Jinping, and hand over a letter from Abe, local media reported.
"Japan-China relations have been faced with various kinds of friction, and political dialogue has not been held for a long time," Mr Yamaguchi told reporters ahead of his departure.