Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida is expected to meet Premier Li Keqiang on Saturday during his three-day visit to China, in an attempt to repair bilateral ties amid deep-seated distrust. Kishida revealed his itinerary to reporters at the Tokyo airport on Friday before he left for Beijing, saying he would like to “take the first step to build a Japan-China relationship that is appropriate for the new era”, according to Sankei News . China and Japan ‘will both look to extend influence at Asian-African Conference’ The meeting will be the first direct bilateral contact between the world’s second and third largest economies in four and a half years– excluding international occasions – after they turned their backs on each other over a series of disputes. On Saturday, Kishida will also hold talks with State Councillor Yang Jiechi and Foreign Minister Wang Yi separately. Aiming to restore political trust and reset ties with Beijing, he will try to lay a groundwork for a meeting between President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He will also discuss with Chinese leaders ways to tide over the uncertainties in the global economy. Tough questions, straight answers: China’s top diplomat on the South China Sea, North Korea, Japan, the US and more State news agency Xinhua questioned Japan’s sincerity in mending ties. “Thawing the frosty relations between China and Japan requires Tokyo to take concrete action, including abandoning its historical revisionism and putting an end to its meddling in the South China Sea,” it wrote in a commentary. A resumption of the suspended high-level economic dialogue was likely to be raised, said Zhang Jifeng, a researcher from the Institute of Japan Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. Kishida’s visit was a positive expression of goodwill that carried symbolic importance after the chill in ties Zhang said. Trade and investment between Asia’s top two economies have seen dramatic plunges over the past three years. Regional economic cooperation, such as a free-trade zone pact among China, Japan and South Korea, made little progress in that time.