Abe tells Xi Japan is keen to improve ties with China

LIMA • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has told Chinese President Xi Jinping that he aims to improve ties with China by capitalising on key anniversaries for bilateral relations in the next few years.

On Sunday, the two leaders held impromptu talks while attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Lima, according to Mr Kotaro Nogami, Japan's Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary.

Mr Abe told Mr Xi he would like to seek comprehensive improvement of ties, with eyes on the 45th anniversary of the normalisation of diplomatic relations next year and the 40th anniversary of the Japan-China peace and friendship treaty in 2018, the official said.

China's Foreign Ministry said the brief talks happened at the request of the Japanese side. "President Xi Jinping stated clearly China's principled position on developing SinoJapan relations," the ministry said, without elaborating.

Ties between China and Japan, the world's second- and third-largest economies, have long been strained by a territorial dispute.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 22, 2016, with the headline 'Abe tells Xi Japan is keen to improve ties with China'. Print Edition | Subscribe