Japan's Abe says ready to meet China's Xi at Jakarta conference

TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday that he was ready to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of an Asian-African summit in Jakarta this week if the chance arises.

Both leaders will be attending the summit to mark the 60th anniversary of a gathering of Asian and African leaders opposed to colonialism. Abe is expected to make brief remarks that will be closely watched for his stance on Japan's wartime aggression amid concerns he wants to tone down past apologies.

Sino-Japanese ties have chilled in recent years due to feuds over wartime history, bitter memories of which persist in China, as well as territorial feuds and mutual mistrust over Abe's bolder security policies and China's growing military assertiveness.

But relations have thawed slightly since Abe met Xi for a summit in Beijing late last year.