The current Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, will be visiting Beijing from October 25 - October 27 to meet the Chinese Prime Minister, Xi Jinping. The news offers some sign of warmth in the cold relationship between the two countries amid the intensifying pressure from the United States.
While both the Prime Ministers have met several times at various international events, Abe's visit to the country would be the first in seven years. No Japanese leader has conducted a visit to the Dragon country since 2011. Also, no Chinese leader has ever visited Japan after 2010.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Lu Kang, confirmed that the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, will be visiting the country from October 25 to October 27 and mark the 40th anniversary of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the two nations.
“The visit will elevate our bilateral ties and put bilateral cooperation back on the right track. Both the sides will work to jointly uphold multilateralism and the free trade system," Lu said at a regular press briefing.
In 2012, the relationship between the two countries soured following a territorial dispute over some Japanese-controlled islands in the East China Sea. The meet, now, comes as a hope of settling the old disputes and form fresh ties of friendship. Abe also plans to invite the Chinese Prime Minister to plan a visit to Japan. The possibility of the meet has also been associated with the shifting diplomacy of Japan since 2017 and intensifying pressures of the United States.
According to reports, the businesses in Japan and China have voiced their desire for closer ties, amid the increasing pressures of the United States on China trade. China is the world’s second-largest economy followed by Japan at number 3. The amiability between the two economies then becomes very important. Reportedly, a Japanese foreign ministry official said that economic relations with China cannot be overlooked so as to ensure a sustainable economic growth of Japan.
The Sino-Japanese Friendship Treaty was signed on October 23, 1978, and the meet between the two Prime Ministers marks its 40th anniversary.