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Japan, China ministers hold first meeting since war shrine trip

Published on May 17, 2014 9:13 PM

TOKYO (AFP) - The Japanese and Chinese trade ministers held talks Saturday in the first high-level meeting between the two countries since a visit by Japan’s premier to a controversial war shrine sparked a furious diplomatic row in December.  

Toshimitsu Motegi and his Chinese counterpart Gao Hucheng agreed to put political tensions to one side to boost bilateral economic ties, when they met on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) forum in Qingdao, Kyodo news agency reported.  

It was the first Cabinet-level meeting since hawkish Japanese premier Shinzo Abe’s visit to Yasukuni Shrine on Dec 26 provoked outrage in Beijing, inflaming diplomatic tensions already running high over a bitter territorial dispute.  

China, along with other Asian nations, regards the shrine as a symbol of what it says is Japan’s unwillingness to repent for its aggressive warring last century.  

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