BEIJING – Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to visit China from Oct. 25-27, as both sides seek to exchange views on improving and developing bilateral ties, China’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
During Abe’s visit to China, a first for a Japanese prime minister in the last seven years, a reception will be held to mark the 40th anniversary of the Japan-China peace and friendship treaty by both sides, whose ties have been affected by moments of tension, especially during Abe’s second term.
“We hope this visit will help to elevate our political mutual trust, deepen our pragmatic exchanges and elevate our bilateral ties and put the cooperation back on the right track,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Lu Kang, said in a press conference.
The visit comes at a time of a trade war between China and the United States due to which China and Japan should “jointly uphold multilateralism and the free trade system,” the spokesperson said, adding that China “always welcomes Japanese enterprises to increase their investment in China.”
“We hope the two sides can use their advantages and deepen our cooperation in trade, financial, investment, innovation and high technology, and to explore third party markets, and jointly uphold multilateralism and the free trade system,” Lu said.
The visit comes after periods of tension due to the territorial disputes over small islands in East China Sea which are under Japanese administration but claimed by China.
“To assure the steady development of bilateral ties, we believe the two sides should abide by the principles of the four political documents signed, recognize each other as cooperation partners, not threaten each other and support each other’s peaceful development,” Lu said.
The sovereignty dispute over the Senkaku Islands, which are administered by Tokyo, has intensified since Japan nationalized three islets in 2012.
Located in the East China Sea around 150 kilometers (93 miles) northeast of Taiwan, the uninhabited Senkaku Islands covering an area of approximately 7 square kilometers (2.7 square miles) and are said to be rich in marine and energy resources.