BEIJING - Japan and China wrapped up talks Wednesday on ways to expand trade
and economic ties, Foreign Ministry officials said.
two-day talks came amid warming relations between the neighbors under new
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a Japanese Foreign Ministry official said on
condition of anonymity, citing protocol.
The two sides also announced that negotiations will begin on a pact aimed at
expanding investment among Japan, China and South Korea. The talks will be held
at the East Asian summit, which was rescheduled for January in the Philippines
after a storm led to its postponement earlier this month.
Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Mitoji Yabunaka also asked Chinese Deputy
Minister for Commerce Chen Jian for an easing of some investment and trade
restrictions, including a ban on foreign animation programs on prime-time
Ties between Beijing and Tokyo have improved under Abe, who visited Beijing
and Seoul weeks after taking office in September.
His predecessor, Junichiro Koizumi, repeatedly visited a controversial
Japanese shrine which honors the country's war dead, including convicted war
criminals. The visits angered China and brought bilateral ties to their lowest
point in decades.
The latest economic partnership talks were the fifth between the two
countries since 2003.
China was Japan's No. 2 trade partner in 2005 behind the U.S., underscoring
the growing importance of smooth relations.