Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrives at his official residence after he cancelled part of his trip in Southeast Asia, his first overseas trip since taking office, due to the hostage crisis in Algeria, in Tokyo January 19, 2013. [Photo/Agencies]
WASHINGTON - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is scheduled to visit the United States in the third week of February, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said here on Friday.
The top American envoy made the announcement after a closed-door meeting with her Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida, who was in Washington for a one-day trip.
On Abe's expected meeting with US President Barack Obama, Clinton said: "There will be a lot of work to do between now and then to ensure this high-level summit is extremely successful for both our governments and our nations."
The two diplomats also discussed the issue of the Diaoyu Islands, the collaboration in dealing with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and the negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Regarding the issue of the Diaoyu Islands, Clinton reiterated that the United States does not take a position on the "ultimate sovereignty" of the islands, urging "all parties to take steps to prevent incidents and manage disagreements through peaceful means."
But she also said that Washington recognizes that the islands are under Japanese administration. Such US stance has been repeatedly criticized and opposed by the Chinese government.
Relations between China and Japan soured last year due to the Japanese government's provocations over the Diaoyu Islands, a group of islets in the East China Sea which belong to China.
At a daily press briefing on Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said that Japan's continued "negative acts on the Diaoyu Islands issue" have created tensions, running against the trend of solving disputes through talks.
"We hope the Japanese side can exercise sincerity with calmness, work for shared goals with China, and thus find ways to properly solve and manage problems through consultations," he said.