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Japan's leader wants more phone time with China

Japan's leader wants more phone time with China

China and Japan pledged to continue their recently warming ties, with Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso saying Saturday the countries' leaders should talk more on the phone.
Making his first visit to Beijing since becoming prime minister last month, Aso said he and President Hu Jintao agreed to cooperate in dealing with the challenge posed by the global financial crisis.
They also discussed North Korea's nuclear program and the war on terrorism and called for moving ahead with "mutually beneficial strategic ties," Aso said.
"We should build trust to the extent that we can pick up the phone whenever necessary," Aso told reporters after the close of a two-day meeting of Asian and European leaders in Beijing.
Aso on Friday proposed setting up a hot line with Chinese leaders.
The comments pointed to efforts to continue a tentative rapprochement the longtime rivals began two years ago. Relations between the neighbors have been rocky for much of the past decade as Japan warily adjusts to China's growing regional and global clout.
Aso, a career politician, has a reputation as a China hawk. As foreign minister in 2005 he publicly called China "a considerable threat" for its ballooning military spending.
Both sides, however, are playing down the past.
At a reception Friday, Aso referred indirectly to Japan's wartime invasion of China while calling for moving forward. He said it was critical "to humbly reflect on the past and build the future together."
China's Hu said Beijing intended "to increase political mutual trust, intensify cooperation and friendly exchanges to advance China-Japan strategic and reciprocal relations."


Updated : 2021-03-05 14:41 GMT+08:00