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Abe, Xi say Japan-China ties 'on right track'; Abe to visit Beijing in Oct.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands in Vladivostok, Russia, on Sept. 12, 2018. (Kyodo)

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia -- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping met here in Russia's Far East on Sept. 12, and agreed that they will make final preparations for Abe's visit to China in October as this year marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of the peace and friendship treaty between Japan and China. Xi said he will "welcome" the visit by the Japanese premier.

At the beginning of the seventh summit between Abe and Xi since November last year, the two leaders both expressed that the bilateral relationship is "on the right track." Abe said that "exchange and dialogue (between the two countries) are expanding in every area and the scope of cooperation between Japan and China is also growing." Xi said the bilateral ties were "given an important chance to develop and improve."

Following Abe's visit to China, the Japanese side expects President Xi to visit Japan in June of next year. After their meeting, Abe told reporters that he wants to "move up the Japan-China relationship to a new stage through mutual visits by the leaders and establish the foundation of peace and prosperity in Northeast Asia."

In the summit, the two leaders agreed to cooperate for the denuclearization of North Korea, which they confirmed as a common objective for Japan and China.

Abe and Xi also shared recognition about the importance of free trade as the United States is leaning toward protectionism. They apparently confirmed to carry out joint investments by Japan and China into third countries in connection with the "One Belt One Road" infrastructure development initiative promoted by Beijing.

In connection with the issue of the East China Sea including the disputed Senkaku Islands, which Japan controls but China claims, the Japanese premier apparently raised the importance of maritime security to avoid unexpected developments between the Japanese Self-Defense Forces and Chinese military near the islands.

(Japanese original by Yoshitaka Koyama, Political News Department)

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