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Japan hopes to improve ties with China ahead of Xi's state visit

This combined file photo shows Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping. (Kyodo)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan is seeking to deepen ties with China that have returned to a "normal track" as both nations share a responsibility for peace and prosperity in Asia and beyond, the top government spokesman said Tuesday.

On the 70th anniversary of the founding of the communist People's Republic of China, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga expressed hope for more high-level exchanges and deeper cooperation in various areas ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to Japan next spring.

"By dealing with issues of concern properly, we hope to further exchanges and cooperation in every field and...raise Japan-China relations to a new level and build a new era for both nations," Suga said at a press conference.

Regarding China's huge military parade to mark the anniversary, Suga said Japan is "always closely watching Chinese military developments" and will work to urge Beijing to enhance the transparency of its defense policy and military power.

In recent months, Japan and China have experienced a thaw in their relations that had been frayed over wartime history and territory. The improvement comes amid a tariff war between Beijing and Washington that has raised concerns about the global economy.

Suga said the trade issue is a "big concern" to the world, calling for a constructive dialogue between China and the United States to resolve it.

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