Japan to sign peace treaty with Russia, Abe says

Japan to sign peace treaty with Russia, Abe says

Japan to sign peace treaty with Russia, Abe says

Abe told Li that Japan will end official development assistance to China, which Tokyo has continued since the year after the two countries signed the bilateral Treaty of Peace and Friendship in 1978, after implementing a new assistance program this fiscal year. It follows Japan's previously foreshadowed decision to stop providing China with official development assistance, which Abe argued had "completed its historical mission" over the past 40 years.

"We will certainly raise our concerns over terrorism and other worldwide trans-border crimes", Gokhale said.

For his part, Li said "international conditions are unstable, and uncertainties have increased", but the countries' economic cooperation would "benefit the development of global free trade".

Iwamura called for boosting cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative and promoting trilateral trade cooperation between China, Japan and South Korea.

Now negotiating a Japan-US free trade deal, Abe does not want to be boxed into a US veto on any future Japan-China trade deal, as Mexico and Canada have been in NAFTA renegotiations.

Xi, who made the remarks while meeting with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, added that a healthy and stable relationship was in line with the interests of both countries, state radio reported.

Abe and Li met on Thursday during a reception to celebrate the signing of the treaty that put Japanese and Chinese relations back on track after World War II.

Abe also said that Japan and China share significant responsibility to contribute to the stability and prosperity of Asia and the world, and that the two countries shouldering the responsibility together is also a response to the expectations of the worldwide community.

Japanese firms including big auto companies like Toyota hope to see normalised ties with China so they can compete with USA and European rivals, while Beijing expects Tokyo's endorsement of its ambitious Belt and Road programme, an initiative that Xi hopes will further boost trade and transport links with other countries.

The Trump administration has imposed huge trade tariffs which it says are in retaliation for other countries' unfair trade practices.

"If that is realised, the improvement in Japan-China relations will accelerate".

Abe also said that his talks with President Xi in Vladivostok, Russia in September and his scheduled visit to China this time mean that the bilateral relationship is advancing steadily toward a new phase.

Japan has been targeted by U.S. tariffs too, though much less so than China.

The arrangement, which takes effect on Friday and lasts until October 25, 2021, will allow the exchange of local currencies between the two central banks for up to 200 billion yuan or 3.4 trillion yen ($30 billion), the Bank of Japan said. Furthermore, Japan would like to take advantage of China's huge population.

The discussions between Japan and China might also be an opportunity for Tokyo to act as a bridge between the United States and China.

Unlike the United States, Vogel said, Japan never harbored illusions that China would become like the West, an outlook that has led to more realistic expectations about the extent of a possible rapprochement.

"The timing is very important", said Yasuhiro Matsuda, a professor at the University of Tokyo's Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia.

"Just looking how the flags of both countries are hung next to each other on Changan Avenue makes me uncomfortable", said a user on China's Weibo microblog platform.

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