Japan, China take steps to bolster ties

Updated: 2007-04-11 16:24

TOKYO -- Japan and China, eager to nurture their fragile reconciliation, prepared Wednesday for a summit meeting aimed at setting aside rancor over the past and focusing on ways to tame rivalry over energy and influence.

Japan¡¯s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, whose October visit to Beijing was a diplomatic coup after years of tension, plays host to Prime Minister Wen Jiabao for a three-day visit studded with agreements and speeches intended to show that ties are continuing to mend.

It is the first visit by a Chinese premier to Japan since October 2000.

On Wednesday, the leaders will hold a meeting that may result in cooperation on energy, environmental protection and developing a framework to find more common ground.

¡°The biggest objective and fruit of Wen¡¯s visit is the fact that the premier is visiting Japan,¡± said Ryosei Kokubun, an expert on China-Japan relations at Keio University.

Since becoming prime minister, Mr. Abe has avoided visits to the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo, which Asian countries, including China, say glorifies Japanese militarism of the 1930s and early 1940s.

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