Top News

China and Japan agree to build ties

Updated: 2007-01-28 08:30
Large Medium Small
BEIJING - China and Japan vowed on Saturday to improve relations ahead of a visit by Chinese premier Wen Jiabao to Japan in April.

The agreement was the conclusion to a three-day dialogue between the two countries, the latest in a round of talks aimed at mending fences between the major economic powers in the region.

Related readings:
China and Japan agree to build tiesChina, Japan conclude 7th strategic talks
China and Japan agree to build tiesJapan PM vows 'new national identity'

Relations sunk to their lowest ebb in decades recently following visits by former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine.

Japanese World War Two leaders convicted as war criminals are honoured at the shrine, alongside millions of war dead, a source of anger in China and parts of Asia where many suffered under Japan's military aggression before and during the war.

"The two sides discussed building strategic, mutually beneficial ties and had frank and in-depth exchanges of views on how to maintain the sound momentum of improving and developing bilateral ties," the official Xinhua news agency said, citing the Chinese foreign ministry.

Although Sino-Japanese relations warmed slightly after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited to China in October, shortly after he took office, there is still deep seated distrust between the two countries.

China and Japan do not see eye-to-eye on a raft of issues, from energy, and territorial disputes in the South China Sea, to Japanese school textbooks, which China says gloss over Japan's military aggression before and during World War Two.

The talks were headed by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo and Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Shochiro Yachi.