Japan visit to boost trade ties, cooperation in new areas: Modi

Japan visit to boost trade ties, cooperation in new areas: Modi

China and Japan, arch rivals in Asia, on Friday warmed up to each other as both countries stuck a slew of deals and pledged to improve their ties as the U.S. cranks up pressure on them for trade concessions.

"China is willing to work together with Japan to take Sino-Japanese relations back to a normal track, maintaining stable, sustainable and healthy development and making new progress", Li said during an appearance with Abe on Friday.

As close neighbors, Japan and China should push forward bilateral ties on the basis of the principles set in their four political documents and in the spirit of "cooperating in a mutual-beneficial way and never posing a threat to each other", he said.

Asia's two largest economies are seeking to deepen trade, investment and cooperation on infrastructure and other projects in third countries.

RCEP is a free-trade agreement proposed by China with South-East Asia and various countries on the Pacific Rim, including Japan.

Abe said, "We agreed to cooperate in responding to maritime accidents in the East China Sea and to work towards expanding a communication mechanism by quickly setting up a hotline between defense officials, so that we can make the East China Sea a sea of peace, cooperation and friendship". "I will have wide-ranging talks with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and interact with business leaders and captains of industry from both countries".

During his evening meeting with Xi at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, the Japanese prime minister said, "We (Japan) would like to join hands with China in contributing to peace and stability in the world".

The trip heralds warming ties following years of acrimony between the two countries.

Also Friday, the central banks of the two countries signed a three-year, bilateral currency swap agreement enabling the two sides to swap up to 200 billion yuan (about $28.8 billion) for 3.4 trillion yen.

Relations between China and Japan have overcome "obstacles" and are moving "from competition to cooperation", the nations' leaders said on Friday as they signed new deals to prevent military clashes at sea and boost financial and economic collaboration.

The bilateral agreement covered a range of issues such as counter-terrorism operations, narcotics trading, intelligence sharing, natural disaster relief efforts as well as China's construction activities in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK).

"We will certainly raise our concerns over terrorism and other worldwide trans-border crimes", Gokhale said. Japan has stressed that such cooperation can only happen when projects meet worldwide standards. "Xi Jinping wants to say to Abe that they are in this together".

"(Japan) is determined to settle the abduction, nuclear and missile issues as well as the unhappy past and normalize diplomatic relations (with Pyongyang)", Prime Minister Abe said.

"In the past several years, the China-Japan relationship has experienced ups and downs".

But both sides will be hoping more visits will follow.The Nikkei reported that Mr Abe is keen to invite Mr Xi to Japan for an official visit next year, before or after the Group of 20 summit in Osaka. The two leaders would jointly hold a reception that would mark the 40th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty Of Peace and Friendship. 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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