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China, Japan hold strategic dialogue amid warming ties

China, Japan hold strategic dialogue amid warming ties

China and Japan began a fresh round of strategic talks on Thursday to further warm ties, which have been frayed by territorial disputes and wartime history.
Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Shotaro Yachi and his Chinese counterpart Dai Bingguo were heading the three-day talks, which will focus on "China-Japan relations and other issues of common interest," said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu.
"The strategic dialogue is a good platform for the two sides to have discussions on relations," Jiang said at a regular news briefing. "China values the dialogue very much."
While there has been growing goodwill between the two sides since a fence-mending visit to Beijing in October by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, ties remain precarious because of ongoing disagreements over territorial issues, use of maritime resources and interpretations of wartime history.
Visits by Abe's predecessor, Junichiro Koizumi, to a Tokyo shrine that many see as a symbol of Japanese militarism, further aggravated tensions. Abe has not visited the shrine since becoming prime minister.
Japan also expressed concern about China's anti-satellite missile test earlier this month, which Tokyo views as a step toward militarizing outer space and demanded explanations from Beijing.
Tokyo is increasingly concerned with Beijing's growing clout in southeast Asia, seeing China as both a crucial market for its own exports and as a powerful competitor.
Yachi will also meet with Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, who will visit Japan in February ahead of a trip by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in the spring.
The strategic talks, the seventh round between the Asian powers, come as a Japanese filmmaker plans to work on a documentary that says Japanese troops never slaughtered Chinese citizens in the eastern city of Nanjing.
Historians generally agree that the soldiers massacred at least 150,000 civilians and raped tens of thousands of women during the 1937-38 occupation of Nanjing, located about 150 miles west of Shanghai.
China says up to 300,000 people were killed during the rampage, also known as "The Rape of Nanking," using the name by which the city was known in the West at that time.
Japan avoids giving death toll estimates and conservative lawmakers and academics still try to whitewash the event, fueling simmering resentment among Chinese over Tokyo's wartime behavior.
Satoru Mizushima, the nationalist filmmaker, is basing his movie on testimony from Japanese veterans, archival footage and documents that proponents say prove accounts of the killing are nothing more than Chinese propaganda.
Jiang, the ministry spokeswoman, said Japan "should take a responsible attitude toward the history issue so as to get the trust of its neighbors."
"It is in the interest of Japan," she said.


Updated : 2021-05-15 14:36 GMT+08:00