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Japan, China to resume talks Feb. 10
Updated: 2006-02-06 21:03

Japan and China will hold subcabinet-level talks Friday and Saturday in Tokyo to discuss bilateral issues to promote mutual communication and ease strained ties, Japan's Foreign Ministry said Monday.

The ministry was apparently alluding to the row over Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's repeated visits to Tokyo's war-related Yasukuni Shrine, which honors convicted Japanese war criminals along with the war dead.

Japan is likely to sound out China on resuming talks between Koizumi and Chinese President Hu Jintao, as well as their foreign ministers, after Koizumi's latest visit to the Shinto shrine in October put a stop to all high-level meetings.

China, South Korea and other Asian countries Japan invaded and occupied before and during World War II view Yasukuni Shrine as glorifying Japanese wartime aggression and regard visits to it by Japanese leaders insensitive.

The previous talks between Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Shotaro Yachi and Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo were held last October in Beijing.

The upcoming Yachi-Dai talks are also likely to touch on the bilateral dispute over China's natural gas project in the East China Sea and the suicide of a staff member of the Japanese Consulate General in Shanghai in May 2004.

Japan says the suicide was caused by pressure from the Chinese side's seeking diplomatic information.

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