My visit to Japan will boost India-Japan ties, says Prime Minister

My visit to Japan will boost India-Japan ties, says Prime Minister

Abe met earlier Friday with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and signed a broad range of agreements, including a 30-billion US dollar currency swap pact.

India on Thursday said that it welcomed the improvement of ties between Japan and China as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reached Beijing on a rare bilateral visit.

Proposed by China in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, aiming at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of Silk Road.

China and Japan on Friday signed a broad range of agreements on strengthening bilateral ties, pledging to step up cooperation in areas from finance and trade to innovation and securities listings.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said 500 business deals worth $18 billion had been signed between Chinese and Japanese companies during the visit, a reflection of the "bright prospects" for cooperation between the two countries. Abe's visit comes amid turbulence in the global economy, with the United States and China involved in an increasingly tense trade dispute.

"In recent years, we have made some progress in defense exchanges between China and Japan", Wu said at a Thursday briefing, referring to junior officer exchanges and a visit to Japan by a delegation from China's National Defense University.

Abe said he sought frank talks with Xi and Li covering North Korea and trade issues.

Abe expressed hopes for closer ties and a shift in bilateral relations from an age of "competition to cooperation", an apparent reference to rifts that until recently have muted Japanese business interests in China.

The agreements announced in Beijing include a three-year currency swap agreement of up to 3.4 trillion yen ($30.4 billion).




Abe told a news conference that, "Japan and China are strong partners and will not be a threat to each other". "The healthy, steady and long-term development of China-Japan ties is in the fundamental interests of the two countries' people, and represents common expectations of the global community".

Japan has also been looking forward to increasing cooperation with China on issues such as environmental protection, scientific and technological breakthrough, and projects that would provide services to China's aging population.

Further, Japan is expecting to commence negotiations with India on a deal wherein it will get access to India's military bases and vice versa.

Abe also said Tokyo was "determined" to normalise diplomatic relations with Pyongyang, but only if preconditions were met, including denuclearisation and the release of kidnapped Japanese citizens.

With the United States leaning toward protectionism, the two premiers confirmed the importance of maintaining free trade.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship. Abe's official visit is described as the first of its kind since late 2011, although he has made several trips to China to attend worldwide gatherings in the meantime.

While US presidents and their policies come and go, deep-running disagreements between China and Japan over history and territory remain hugely divisive and have yet to be resolved.

The ground-breaking ceremony for the high-speed rail project was held during Abe's visit to India in September a year ago for the annual bilateral summit.

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