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Japanese FM calls for improved ties with China

07-04-2011 18:22 BJT

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Japanese Foreign Minister, Takeaki Matsumoto, has wrapped up his first official visit to China. In talks with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi, the Japanese Foreign Minister calls for improved relations between the two, which have been strained over recent sea disputes and long-held historical problems.

It is the first time Matsumoto has visited China as Japanese Foreign Minister since he took office in March.

China-Japan relations have seemed smoother since Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan held an ice-breaking meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao last November.

In talks with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi, the Japanese Foreign Minister
calls for improved relations between the two, which have been strained over recent
sea disputes and long-held historical problems.

This March, the Chinese government offered support after a massive earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan.

In a gesture of goodwill in May, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak met Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan in Fukushima city, not far from a stricken nuclear power plant that triggered the nuclear crisis in the region.

In talks with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi, the Japanese Foreign Minister
calls for improved relations between the two, which have been strained over recent
sea disputes and long-held historical problems.

However, the tensions between the two have never actually gone away.

Japan has been claiming sovereignty of the Diaoyu Islands, a group of islets in the East China Sea, and the right to explore for natural resources in the area. In late June, the Japanese and US foreign and defense ministers agreed upon an updated set of "common strategic objectives,". The two expressed concern over China's military modernization, and indirectly implied a possible interference in the South China Sea, following a series of heated territorial disputes over the region between China and Vietnam and the Philippines.

Despite the distrust, China and Japan are managing to maintain relatively stable relations. China pulled ahead of Japan in 2010 to become the world's second-biggest economy. And China has been Japan's biggest trading partner since 2009. In 2010, trade between the two nations grew by 22.3 percent compared to levels in 2009, surpassing 300 billion US dollars.

Editor:Xiong Qu |Source: CNTV.CN

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