Japan's top diplomat heads for China seeking better ties
TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Akitaka Saiki will visit China on Monday and Tuesday for talks with senior officials, the latest in a series of efforts by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to improve relations soured by a bitter territorial row.
The hawkish Abe, who cemented his grip on power in an upper house election last week, called on Friday for an unconditional meeting between Japanese and Chinese leaders.
On Sunday, Isao Iijima, an adviser to the premier, told reporters that Mr Abe could soon hold a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Often fragile Sino-Japanese ties have been seriously strained since September, when a territorial row over tiny islands in the East China Sea flared following Japan's nationalisation of the uninhabited isles.