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Japan, China agree on Shinzo Abe’s official visit in Oct.: sources

Japan and China have agreed on a schedule for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to officially visit China in October, sources with knowledge of bilateral relations said Friday.

If realized, Abe will become the first Japanese prime minister to visit China since 2011. He is expected to travel to Beijing on Oct. 23 on the 40th anniversary of the bilateral peace and friendship treaty and seek to advance economic ties during talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the sources said.

Abe has visited China to attend international conferences.

Arrangements are being made for the Japanese leader to spend around two nights in China and visit the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, which has a number of high-tech companies, according to the sources.

The prime minister is expected to participate in a China-hosted ceremony to mark the 40th anniversary of the peace treaty, and discuss infrastructure investment in third countries under China’s «One Belt, One Road» initiative at a forum attended by Japanese and Chinese companies, the sources said.

Sino-Japanese relations, often frayed over issues linked to history and territory, have been thawing in recent months. Tokyo is seen as willing to maintain the momentum and pave the way for Xi’s visit to Japan possibly next June.

Beijing, for its part, apparently hopes to cooperate with Japan in promoting free trade amid rising tensions over trade between China and the United States.

Beijing has notified Tokyo of its intention to accept Abe’s official visit in October by Friday, the sources said. Ahead of the planned trip to China, Abe is also expected to meet Xi in Vladivostok, Russia, on the occasion of an economic forum that runs from Sept. 11 through 13.

All — Kyodo News+

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