CHINA / National

Japan's main opposition party leader to meet Hu
Updated: 2006-07-03 13:58

The leader of Japan's main opposition party left for China on Monday for meetings with Chinese President Hu Jintao and other officials, officials said.

Ichiro Ozawa, the leader of the Democratic Party of Japan, was expected to meet with Hu on Tuesday, DPJ official Toshiaki Oikawa said, adding that details of the meeting have yet to be worked out.

Ozawa was scheduled to meet with Chinese State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan on Monday at a state guesthouse and attend a dinner hosted by Tang, Oikawa said.

Ozawa's six-day visit comes after Chinese Ambassador to Japan Wang Yi invited him to Beijing for talks with Chinese officials.

His meeting with Hu comes amid chilled ties between the two Asian countries over territorial disputes and visits by Japanese leaders, including Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, to a war shrine criticized as a glorification of militarism.

Although relations seem to be improving, the two countries' leaders haven't had a face-to-face summit since 2001.

"I think it is important to build trustful relations between the people and national leaders of the two countries," Ozawa told reporters as he departed for China.


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