Japan PM says open to summit with China to help economic ties
TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Tuesday he was open to a meeting with Chinese leaders to rebuild ties damaged by a territorial dispute but said there was no room for negotiations on their row over a group of small islands.
The remarks came after China's Communist Party chief, Xi Jinping, told a Japanese envoy sent to Beijing last week that he was committed to developing bilateral ties and would consider holding a summit meeting.
Relations between the world's second- and third-largest economies plunged after the Japanese government bought three disputed islands from a private owner last September, sparking anti-Japan protests across China. Some Japanese businesses were looted and Japanese citizens attacked.
"It is precisely because we have a problem that we should hold the summit between leaders and have high-level talks," MR Abe said on a television programme. "I would like to consider a top-level summit if circumstances allow."