May 16, 2017
Beijing- Chinese President Xi Jinping told a senior Japanese lawmaker on Tuesday of his willingness to advance bilateral relations in the right direction by getting their countries to step closer to each other while eliminating obstacles.
During the talks in Beijing, Toshihiro Nikai, secretary-general of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, called on Xi to closely cooperate with Japan in denuclearizing North Korea.
At the beginning of the meeting, Nikai handed Xi a personal letter from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe inviting the Chinese leader to visit Japan this year and next.
Xi did not mention whether he will accept the invitation, but expressed readiness to make mutual efforts to promote the bilateral friendship through Japan visits by high-level officials.
On North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, the president said Japan and China can work together on various issues in the medium to long term, but did not elaborate.
"I believe Japan's anxieties (about North Korea) were sufficiently conveyed to President Xi," Nikai told a press conference after the meeting.
The 17-minute meeting between Xi and Nikai followed a China-hosted, two-day international conference on its Belt and Road Initiative to create a Eurasia-wide economic zone that ended Monday. Nikai attended the conference.
With Japan and China marking the 45th year of their diplomatic normalization this year and the 40th year next year since they concluded a peace and friendship treaty, the Japanese government is working to arrange a summit between Abe and Xi when the two leaders visit Germany in July this year to attend a summit of the Group of 20 major economies.
The Japanese government is also working for an early visit to Japan by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang for a Japan-chaired trilateral summit among the two countries plus South Korea. (Jiji Press)
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