In the face of mounting trade pressure from the U.S., the world’s largest economy, the leaders of China and Japan, Nos. 2 and 3 countries, have normalized relations, putting their seven-year conflict behind. While visiting China on Friday, Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe held successive meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang, and the two sides agreed to close cooperation not only in economy but also in North Korea issues. The two leaders also signed on agreements including those on joint development of third party countries, as Japan officially committed to participating in China’s One Belt, One Road initiative, which has been checked by the U.S.
“Japan and China agreed to closely cooperate in North Korea issues,” Prime Minister Abe told a joint press conference Friday morning after his meeting with Premier Li. “Japan is striving to normalize diplomatic ties with North Korea.” Premier Li said, “The two countries agreed to communicate and cooperate on North Korea’s nuclear issues,” adding, “China supports North Korea and Japan’s effort to improve their ties through dialogue and properly resolve unsolved issues.”
“I hope to elevate Japan-China relations to the level of new era from those of competition,” Abe said during his meeting with Li, who replied “We hope to develop stable bilateral relations for the long term.”
Beijing and Tokyo signed on more than 50 agreements on finance, trade and national security, including a plan to jointly develop basic infrastructure in third party countries. They also signed on a currency swap agreement worth 30 billion U.S. dollars for a three-year period. Prime Minister Abe and more than 500 Japanese business leaders on his entourage took part in the “China-Japan third party country forum” on the day, in which they sought to find an opportunity for development in third party countries.
Wan-Jun Yun email@example.com