By The Japan News
Asia News Network
By Hiroshi Tajima and Takayuki Nakagawa / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff WritersVLADIVOSTOK, Russia — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to make final arrangements for Abe's visit to China in October, in their talks in Vladivostok, Russia, on Wednesday morning.
The two leaders also confirmed their stance of closely coordinating with each other for North Korea's denuclearization.
In the about 40-minute meeting, Xi stressed that the two nations share an important awareness of promoting continuous development of China-Japan relations. The Chinese president said that the two countries have the opportunity to enter a normal track, and develop and improve bilateral ties, based on common efforts from both sides.
Xi also said he "welcomes" Abe's visit to China in October.
Meanwhile, Abe asked Xi to visit Japan after his visit to China. Xi replied that he takes note of the invitation.
Following the meeting, Abe told reporters, "Japan and China reconfirmed a common awareness of deepening friendship and cooperation."
"I want to establish a basis for peace and prosperity in Northeast Asia by lifting the bilateral ties to a new stage through reciprocal visits by the two leaders [of Japan and China]," he added.
Priority has been given to realizing Abe's visit to China on Oct. 23, exactly 40 years after the Japan-China Peace and Friendship Treaty came into force, on the assumption that the prime minister will win his third consecutive term as president of the Liberal Democratic Party in the LDP presidential election on Sept. 20.
The meeting was the seventh between the two leaders and follows the previous one in Da Nang, Vietnam, in November 2017.
In Wednesday's meeting, Abe and Xi reconfirmed setting denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula as a common goal, in light of coordination that is under way to realize a second U.S.-North Korea summit meeting between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea.
Abe explained Tokyo's position to resolve as early as possible the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by North Korea and received support from Xi.
The two leaders also agreed to promote infrastructure development in third-party countries by Japanese and Chinese private firms, with an eye on China's Belt and Road Initiative to create a massive economic zone.
Abe and Xi exchanged views on international trade as the United States is strengthening its protectionist policies.
Free trade, not protectionism, is important, Xi said. For his part, Abe said, "Amid ever-changing situations surrounding trade and investment, it is important to maintain close communications between Japan and China."Speech