Meeting with Xi a ‘big step forward’: Abe

By Chang Meng Source:Global Times Published: 2014-11-12 1:23:02

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday hailed his Monday meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping as "a big step forward" in mending the Sino-Japanese relationship and also expressed hope of holding further talks with Xi.

China and Japan have agreed to return to a strategic relationship of mutual benefit, Abe told a press conference in Beijing as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit concluded.

Abe said that China and Japan "need each other," and that the two countries are "in a way inseparably bound with each other."

Abe and Xi on Monday met for the first time since both took office on the sidelines of the APEC summit, marking a major breakthrough to thaw the frozen bilateral relationship.

Both sides attach strategic significance to the improvement of bilateral ties, but Japan needs it more as the Sino-Japanese relationship weighs heavier on its economic and diplomatic strategy, Geng Xin, deputy director of Tokyo-based think tank New Japanese Institute of JCC, told the Global Times. However, the meeting won't solve problems between the two countries overnight. The two sides reached a four-point agreement on Friday, which explicitly mentioned "political obstacles" between the two sides over historical issues and disputes involving the Diaoyu Islands.

Solutions to the fundamental problems lie in the implementation of two other points in the agreement, which state the two sides should strictly follow the "four political documents" and boost mutual trust, said Geng. The statement next year on the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII would indicate whether Abe had kept his promise to take concrete actions, he said.

Posted in: Politics, Diplomacy

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