China's top diplomat meets Japan PM in Tokyo

Oct 19, 2015 China’s top diplomat, Yang Jiechi, recently met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a visit aimed at mending frayed ties between the two countries.

The relationship between the two Asian countries has been plagued by conflicting claims to a group of islands on the East China Sea and the legacy of Japan’s World War Two aggression against China.

Also China’s recent successful bid to include documents related to the 1937 Nanjing Massacre in a programme by the U.N. cultural and heritage agency UNESCO has become a new irritant. China claimed that invading Japanese troops killed 300,000 people in the massacre; however a post-war Allied tribunal put the death toll at about half that number.

Following the inclusion, spokesman for the Japanese government said that Tokyo will halt funding for UNESCO over the U.N. heritage body’s decision to include the documents.

The frictions notwithstanding, Yang and Shotaro Yachi, the head of the secretariat of Japan’s National Security Council, agreed to press ahead with bilateral dialogue.

According to Japanese officials, issues discussed included the overall ties between the two Asian countries, their security policies and a continued effort to set up an emergency communication mechanism between their militaries.

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