Chinese minister visits Japan for talks on N. Korea, regional issues

Japan to propose new framework for trade talks

"I hope that we will be able to discuss what and China can work together on in the global arena, not just bilateral issues", Kono told reporters on Friday.

The Chinese language aspect was led by Overseas Minister Wang Yi, the primary go to by a Chinese language worldwide minister for bilateral talks since 2009.

Japanese Foreign Affairs Minister Taro Kono and his Chinese counterpart kicked off the first high-level economic talks between their nations in eight years on Monday, at a time of tense trade relations with the United States for both countries, Reuters reported.

While ties between Tokyo and Beijing have a troubled history, relations seem to have strengthened following Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's diplomatic visit in January.

"We confirmed Japan's plan to improve relations with China", Wang, who also holds the position of state councilor, told reporters after the meeting.

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"Through mutual visits between our two leaders we agreed to pursue wide-reaching cooperation and improved ties", Kono said after Sunday's meeting. The dispute over islands in the East China Sea - known as the "Senkakus" in Japanese and the "Diaoyu" by the Chinese - remains a source of tension. Japan has come in for criticism from U.S. President Donald Trump on trade and been hit with tariffs on steel and aluminum, but Japan has not yet threatened counter-tariffs.

Wang, a former ambassador to Japan, said his visit was China's response to "positive" messages and policies from Tokyo but acknowledged "some complex and sensitive elements".

On North Korea, Kono said he and Wang "confirmed that we will work in close coordination, while fully implementing the relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions, to make the complete, irreversible and verifiable abandonment of North Korea's nuclear and missile (programs) a reality".

They also discussed the vision each country has for the wider region, namely Japan's "free and open Indo-Pacific" strategy and China's "One Belt, One Road" infrastructure megaproject.

The framework will be separate from a bilateral economic dialogue, set up by Abe and Trump in 2017 and led by their deputies, that discusses issues including trade, infrastructure and technical aid.

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