CHINA / National

Japan, China agree to boost aviation links
Updated: 2006-07-14 08:33

China and Japan agreed on Thursday to boost the number of flights between their respective countries in the latest move to improve ties between the Asian neighbours.

Under the agreement, the number of passenger flights will rise by 20 percent and the number of cargo flights will double, Japan's Transport Minister Kazuo Kitagawa said in a statement after a meeting with civil aviation authorities in Beijing.

The deal, which follows a year and a half of negotiations, will allow 13 companies from each country to provide flights, up from the current six.

"We anticipate that this agreement will lead to further development of aviation links between the two countries," the ministry statement said.

The total number of weekly flights between China and Japan will be boosted to 547, with Chinese companies responsible for 300, while Japanese companies provide 247.

In 2005, about 6.4 million passengers flew between Japan and China.

Ties between China and Japan have hit their worst levels in decades in recent years over a variety of issues, many of which stem from Japan's invasion and occupation of parts of China in the early 20th century.


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