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Dhaka Tribune

China, Japan set aside isle row, paving way for leaders to meet

Update : 07 Nov 2014, 06:09 PM

China and Japan agreed on Friday to work on improving ties and signalled willingness to put a bitter row over disputed islands on the back burner, paving the way for their leaders to meet at an Asian-Pacific summit next week.

The agreement, ahead of an expected ice-breaking chat between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the gathering in Beijing, signals a thaw in ties between the two nations.

Relations have been soured over the past two years by the territorial row, regional rivalry and the bitter legacy of Japan’s wartime occupation of China.

Abe said the two sides were making final arrangements for one-on-one talks, although neither he nor China’s foreign ministry confirmed that the talks were set.

“Both Japan and China are coming to the view that it would benefit not just the two countries but regional stability if a summit is held,” he told a TV programme.

But in signs that fundamental problems would not easily be resolved, Abe also said there had been no change in Japan’s stance on the isles at the heart of the territorial dispute, while China’s top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, urged Japan to properly handle sensitive issues like history and the islands. 

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