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Chinese foreign minister visits Japan for talks on N Korea, regional issues

Chinese foreign minister visits Japan for talks on N Korea, regional issues

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi says he has reconfirmed the Japanese government's willingness to improve bilateral ties.

Kono said he and Wang agreed to improve ties by their leaders pay mutual visits, starting with a visit next month to Japan by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang for a trilateral summit involving Moon. The event will discuss The Future of Banking - Evolution, Revolution Or Big Bang by bringing together regulators, banks and disrupters, as digitalisation and innovative business models are affecting the environment in which financial institutions operate.

Wang said any parties, including Japan, welcome the recent important changes on the peninsula.

Shortly after his arrival, Wang will meet his Japanese counterpart with their talks expected to touch on key subjects such as economic relations, territorial disputes in the East China Sea, and ways to push North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons, Japanese officials have said.

Kono said that he hoped the first economic dialogue between the countries in eight years would be a "fruitful discussion".

"We would like to co-operate further towards the common goal between Japan and China, of establishing a complete, irreversible and verifiable denuclearization of North Korea", Kono said as the two began talks in Tokyo.

But Tokyo is eager to get the relationship back on a firmer footing, especially as it fears being shut out of negotiations on North Korea's nuclear programme in which Beijing is likely to be a major player.




Tokyo hopes such a meeting will lead to a long-awaited exchange of state visits between Abe and Xi.

"We agreed the importance of making it a sea of peace, cooperation and friendship", he said.

Wang's trip - the first of its kind in more than than eight years - comes ahead of a scheduled summit between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in on April 27 in the Demilitarised Zone that divides the Koreas.

"To establish a complete, irreversible and verifiable denuclearisation of North Korea we agreed to continue to fully implement all relevant United Nations resolutions and to work closely together", Kono said.

Kono told Wang that true improvement in bilateral ties can not be achieved without stability in the East China Sea, where China has challenged Japan's sovereignty over uninhabited islets.

Abe is set to meet Trump in Florida this week, where he plans to press the president to maintain a hard line on North Korea and seek to persuade him to take a more multilateral approach to trade.

Wang, who will be in Tokyo until Tuesday, will also participate in the fourth China-Japan High-level Economic Dialogue.