Chinese President Xi says relations with Japan ‘back to a normal track’

World Today

Chinese President Xi Jinping said China’s relations with Japan are now on the ‘right track.’ Xi made the remarks while meeting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Beijing. It’s the first official visit by a Japanese leader to Beijing in years.

CGTN’s Connie Lee has more.

“In the past several years, (the) China-Japan relationship has experienced ups and downs,” said Xi in talks with Abe. “With the efforts made by both parties, our relationship has been straightened out and come back to a normal track.”

Xi said the interdependence between the two nations has been growing, with many shared concerns. 

“We should take this historic opportunity and make it the new direction of developing our relationship,” said Xi.

Abe is the first Japanese leader to make an official visit to China in seven years. Abe has hopes in improving trade relations with China.

“I believe we need to develop a new level of free and fair trade system,” said Abe. “Based on these principles, Japan and China need to work together and contribute to what the world,  in a sense, expects of us, toward the peace and stability of the region, and that of the world.”

Abe also said he welcomes Chinese pledges to improve bilateral ties; in particular, plans to lift a ban on some Japanese food imports following Japan’s Fukushima nuclear accident in 2011.

The two countries also entered a number of agreements that include setting up more high-level official dialogues and improving senior health care.

The meeting between the two leaders marks a slow recovery of relations, after they hit a low in 2012 amid territorial disputes involving islands in the East China Sea.

According to a spokesperson for the Japanese government, Chinese President Xi is also ‘seriously considering’ accepting an invitation to visit Japan although no date has been set yet. 

Kuniko Ashizawa on the takeaways of Abe’s visit to China

CGTN’s Roee Ruttenberg spoke with Kuniko Ashizawa on the takeaways from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s three day visit to China. Ashizawa is an Adjunct Professorial Lecturer at the School of International Service at American University. Dr. Ashizawa’s research interests include Japan’s foreign and U.S.-Japan-China relations.