Home Insider China and Japan talk in Myanmar on easing political tensions

China and Japan talk in Myanmar on easing political tensions

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi called on Japan to “make practical efforts to overcome existing political obstacles between the two sides” during an informal meeting with his Japanese counterpart during an ASEAN summit in Myanmar.

According to a statement posted on the web- site of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (www.fmprc.gov.cn) on Sunday, Wang met Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on the sidelines of the ASEAN Regional Fo- rum in Naypyidaw on Saturday. It gave no further details.

Tensions between the two countries have ris- en in recent months, with each side accusing the other of flying military aircraft too close to its own jets in a long-running territorial dispute over a cluster of Japanese-adminis- tered islets in the East China Sea.

China defied protests by Japan and the Unit- ed States to establish an air defence zone in the region last November.

apanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has not held talks with Chinese leaders since he returned to power in December 2012. Re- lations have also been hurt by Abe’s visit to the Yasukuni shrine, regarded by China as a symbol of Japan’s wartime militarism. In an interview with the Sankei Shimbun newspaper on Saturday, Abe played down the “historical problems” between the two countries and called for “frank and open dis- cussions”.

Leaders need to talk because there are is- sues. So I have said, Japan’s door for discus- sions is always open, and I would like China to have the same attitude,” he said. Japanese media reported earlier that the re- gion’s two biggest economies are planning to hold bilateral talks at the APEC summit in Beijing in November in a bid to ease some of their differences, but Tokyo has denied the claims.