China, Japan vow 'new starting point' in ties

Japan foreign minister says Beijing, Tokyo should co-operate more to denuclearize North Korea

Ministers from Japan and China have restarted a high-level economic dialogue in Tokyo for the first time in almost 8 years.

Visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono co-hosted the meeting, The Paper reports, noting that the two are expected to focus on Belt and Road initiative cooperation, as well as trade and investment.

Some women said they hoped the case would lead to more open discussion of sexual harassment.

Shinzo Abe's approval rating fell again amid allegations of cronyism and government cover-ups, placing new pressure on the Japanese prime minister to stage yet another comeback or risk losing his grip over the ruling party.

"Through mutual visits between our two leaders we agreed to pursue wide-reaching cooperation and improved ties", Kono said after Sunday's meeting. The neighbors remain at odds, however, over China's growing military presence in the South China Sea, through which much of the region's sea-borne trade sails, and a dispute over ownership of uninhabited islets in the East China Sea, known as the Senkaku in Tokyo and the Diaoyu in Beijing.

The world's second and third largest economies have a fraught relationship, complicated by longstanding maritime disputes and Japan's wartime legacy.

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Tokyo also hopes to expand its exchanges with China to stay relevant in increasing global efforts to engage with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

South Korea's Moon and US President are also preparing for separate, direct talks with Kim, leaving Abe to continue asserting a "maximum pressure" campaign against the North. Mr Kono stressed that Japan and China share the same goal on North Korea.

Mr Wang said his visit was China's answer to "positive" messages and policies by Japan.

"To get North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons and missiles in a complete, irreversible and verifiable way, we agreed we must enforce the relevant Security Council resolutions and work closely together", Kono said. "I would also like to take this opportunity to further strengthen economic relations between Japan and China".

The Japan-China High-Level Economic Dialogue was being held Monday in Tokyo for the first time since August 2010.

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