Japan, China Work to Elevate Ties Despite Differences

Japan to sign peace treaty with Russia, Abe says

The two countries will also sign an agreement to facilitate cooperation over search and rescue operations in the event of accidents in waters off the two countries, the sources said.

"From competition to co-existence, Japan and China bilateral relations have entered a new phase".

China and Japan capped a restoration of ties with agreements on everything from currency swaps to ocean rescue Friday, a thaw that comes as President Donald Trump seeks better trade terms with both nations.

Abe responded that Japan believes the two countries should take a free and fair trade system to "a new level".

Abe returned to power in 2012 when Sino-Japanese ties were in tatters due to a feud over East China Sea islands, and the territorial dispute remains a key source of friction between the two countries.

On Friday, Abe is scheduled to hold separate meetings with Li and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Premier Li said 500 business deals worth $18bn had been signed between Chinese and Japanese companies during the visit, a reflection of the "bright prospects" for cooperation between the two countries.

In April, Trump tweeted that Japan had "hit us hard on trade for years".

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"Coordination and cooperation between China and Japan will help curb trade protectionism in the world while providing a stable and predictable policy environment for cooperation between enterprises", said Jin.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (李克強) greeted Abe as the Japanese national flag flew outside the Great Hall of the People across from Tiananmen Square and they reviewed an honor guard before going inside for talks.

Mr Abe's current trip to China is the first visit by a Japanese head of government in seven years. Tokyo is an old ally of the U.S. and Beijing is a new adversary of Washington.

The relationship has rapidly warmed up as Trump has slapped massive tariffs on China while also targeting Japanese exports in his effort to cut USA trade deficits, despite touting his personal bonds with Abe and Xi.

Still, despite the United States hostility pushing Beijing and Tokyo closer together, the two countries' long and fractious history makes an easy and lasting rapprochement hard. The group of uninhabited islets, which are called Diaoyu in China, are controlled by Japan but claimed by Beijing. "Between the two countries for more than 70 years is not concluded a peace Treaty", said Prime Minister of Japan.

He declined to give details about the leaders' discussions on the territorial dispute, human rights and other sensitive issues.

Saying Japan welcomes and supports China's efforts in furthering opening-up, Abe expressed Japan's willingness to intensify exchanges with China to lay the social foundation to improve bilateral ties.

There are also plans for a wider regional economic partnership and a special trade zone linking up China, Japan and South Korea. When asked whether that included China's crackdown on rights lawyers or its arbitrary detention of perhaps as many as one million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities in western Xinjiang, Abe's spokesman Osuga declined to comment. Whereas a real warming of relations would be welcome in the region, the reality is that the hard security, economic, and political issues that have divided the two Asia giants remain and they can not be easily resolved.

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