China, Japan seek warmer ties against backdrop of U.S. trade friction

China, Japan seek warmer ties against backdrop of U.S. trade friction

"Also, we are sharing more common interests and concerns in multilateral and wider areas", Xi said.

Japan and China took an important step Friday to elevate their relationship, marking what Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called a historic turning point in ties between the two Asian neighbors.

Japan and China signed a bilateral currency swap arrangement on Friday aimed at enhancing the financial stability of the two countries, the Bank of Japan said.

Although the two leaders have met at various events, Tokyo-Beijing relations have been cool over the past seven years, mainly over territorial disputes in the East China Sea and Chinese island-building in the South China Sea.

The Trump administration's unconventional foreign policy toward trade and military alliances has left Tokyo feeling unsure of the U.S. support which has underlined its worldwide relations since the end of World War II.

The two countries agreed to discuss advanced technologies and issues related to patents and other intellectual property - a perennial bugbear for China's relations with all foreign investors.

"The treaty, signed by the elder generation of leaders of both countries, established a general direction of lasting peace, friendship between the two countries in the form of law, and provided solid support for both sides to conduct mutual beneficial cooperation, achieve common development, and properly deal with sensitive historical issues and the Taiwan issue", Xi said.

In April, Trump tweeted that Japan had "hit us hard on trade for years".

"I am sure in the (upcoming) meeting, the two leaders will discuss the region in more concrete terms", Hiramatsu said. Abe's official visit is described as the first of its kind since late 2011, although he has made several trips to China to attend global gatherings in the meantime. Tokyo is an old ally of the United States and Beijing is a new adversary of Washington.

The relationship has rapidly warmed after US President Donald Trump imposed massive tariffs on China while also targeting Japanese exports in an effort to cut US trade deficits.

That means Washington is making it harder for other countries to export to the United States market.

China claims the Japanese controlled islets are part of its territory and the move sparked a wave of protests across the country and anti-Japanese sentiment.

Since an awkward 2014 encounter between Abe and Xi on the sidelines of a summit, there have been ministerial visits by both sides and a softening of rhetoric.

There is a growing momentum for improved ties as this week marks the 40th anniversary of a peace and friendship treaty between the 2 nations.

At a joint news conference following the meeting, Prime Minister Abe said, "We confirmed that we are cooperative partners and absolutely do not pose a threat to each other".

"With the development of China, the time has come for China and Japan to contribute to the world".

"Japan is also at the forefront of engaging in our national initiatives, such as "Make in India",;Skill India", "Digital India", "Start Up India'". On the basis of relations of trust with President Vladimir Putin we will solve the territorial issue and conclude a peace Treaty with Russian Federation.

Abe will hold talks with Chinese leaders Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang during his three-day visit.

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