Japan and China's foreign ministers pledge to pursue improved ties

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After such a meeting, they hoped to organise reciprocal visits by Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping, Kono said.

As years of strained relations have given way to a thaw between Japan and China, Kono and Wang are expected to plan for mutual leaders' visits in future, starting with a long-delayed summit in Japan between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and South Korean President Moon Jae In to take place next month.

Wang spent eight years in Japan as a diplomat with three of those years as China's ambassador.

"For the Abe administration, China is essential to effectively pressuring North Korea", said Madoka Fukuda, a professor of global politics at Hosei University in Tokyo. Now, China has an added incentive to fix ties with Japan, after a series of surprises from Trump on North Korea, Taiwan and trade sanctions.

China was motivated by a lack of transparency in U.S. policy making, as well as tougher American security and trade stances, she added. Still, few see the relationship as good.

"I want Japan and China to coordinate more toward our shared goal of North Korea's complete, irreversible and verifiable denuclearization", Kono said at the outset of the ministers' meeting in Tokyo that was open to the press.

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The Japan-China Excessive-Stage Financial Dialogue was being held Monday in Tokyo for the primary time since August 2010.

Japanese Foreign Affairs Minister Taro Kono and his Chinese counterpart have pledged to improve ties between their nations and affirmed a commitment to stick with U.N. resolutions aimed at forcing North Korea to abandon nuclear weapons.

Wang said he and Kono discussed the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

Trump threw fresh confusion into trade negotiations Thursday by instructing advisers to review the possibility of returning to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal.

Former premier Koizumi told reporters on Saturday he thought it would be hard for Abe to win a third term as LDP leader.

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