China-Japan relations

‘Put words into action’: China urges Japan to get ties back on track

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 28 January, 2018, 1:07pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 28 January, 2018, 1:07pm

China hopes to work with Japan to get relations back onto a normal track, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono during a meeting in Beijing on Sunday.

China and Japan have long sparred over their painful history, with Beijing frequently accusing Tokyo of not properly atoning for Japan’s invasion of China before and during the second world war.

Ties between China and Japan, the world’s second- and third-largest economies, have also been plagued by a long-running territorial dispute over a cluster of East China Sea islets and suspicion in China about efforts by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to amend Japan’s pacifist constitution.

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However the two countries have sought to improve ties, and Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in November on the sidelines of a regional summit in Vietnam.

Wang told Kono that his trip, coming so early in the year, showed Japan’s strong wish to improve relations, and China approved of this as improved ties were in both nation’s interests, according to a statement from the Chinese foreign ministry.

However, while there had been positive progress there were also many “disturbances and obstructions”, Wang said, while also noting comments from Abe on wanting to improve relations.

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“China-Japan relations have always been like a boat going against a current, and if there is no progress then things go backwards,” he said.

Wang said China hoped Japan would not slacken its efforts and would put its words into action, and work with China to get ties back onto a normal, healthy track as soon as possible.