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Japan, China is looking for warmer ties in the face of American trade friction

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan's prime minister is traveling to Beijing on Thursday for his first formal bilateral summit with Chinese…

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s prime minister is traveling to Beijing on Thursday for his first formal bilateral summit with Chinese leaders in seven years, as the Asian rivals are trying to build a tina in trade friction against Washington.

China has intensified its outlook to Japan and others, as it has locked horns on trade with the United States.

Japan, concerned about China’s growing naval force, is keen on flexible economic ties with its largest trading partner. It must handle it without interfering with its most important security federations, the United States, with which it has its own trade problems.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who returned to power in 2012 when Chinese-Japanese band was in tatters because of a famine over the East China Sea, has met Chinese president Xi Jinping many times since their first cold call 201

4 in a side by a regional summit in Peking.

But his meeting with Xi on Friday will be the first full-scale Sino-Japanese summit since 2011.

Abe will meet Prime Minister Li Keqiang on Thursday and attend a reception to mark the 40th anniversary of a peace and friendship treaty. Both sides hope that more visits will follow.

“If Xi promises to come to Japan next year, it would be very big,” says Kiyoyuki Seguchi, research director at the Canon Institute for Global Studies in Tokyo.

“If achieved, the improvement of relations between Japan and China will be accelerated.”

A series of agreements are expected from a currency swapping arrangement and a new dialogue on innovation and intellectual property protection for better communication between their military.

Japan also hopes for progress towards the implementation of a 2008 agreement on joint development of gas fields in contested waters and wants China to facilitate import limits for products from areas affected by the nuclear disaster in Fukushima 2011.

A corporate forum for cooperation in The private sector in third countries is expected to provide about 50 non-binding agreements, including one on a project in Thailand, telling a Japanese government source.

China can hope that Abe makes a positive statement about its Belt and Road initiative, a vehicle for financing and building transport and trade relations in more than 60 countries.


The belt and road project has been broken to saddle poor countries with debt through large projects that are not economically viable. China rejects the criticism.

Japan’s participation can help the image of the initiative and save fear of debtors, officials say.

But Japanese defense managers are cautious about their military consequences, and Tokyo operates its free and open strategies to promote trade and infrastructure in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Japan also wants to ensure that all joint projects with China are transparent, open and financially sound, officials said.

“We are ready to discuss concrete cooperation in third countries, but … we feel that we do not need to notice this cooperation with any” initiative, “said a Japanese Foreign Ministry.

In a symbol of China’s economic growth, Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Kono this week that Japan ceased its development assistance to China after stopping the bulk of support for more than a decade ago. Instead, they will seek ways to help others.

Despite thieves, suspicion remains.

War history still stands, with China often complaining that Japan has not completely reconciled its part of China before and during World War II.

Japan is cautious about China’s military spending and its dominance in the South China Sea, through which much of Japan’s trade currents.

A new survey showed that 86 percent of the Japanese had a “bad picture” of China.

“Abe will try to develop relationships,” say is Akio Takahara, a Chinese specialist at Tokyo University.

“But at the end of the day, if strategic goals are different, we will not be able to establish a stable relationship.”

Reporting by Linda Sieg; Editing Robert Birsel

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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