Japanese political party visits China to bolster frayed ties
In a survey of Japanese firms with operations in China released on Tuesday, the number of companies planning to expand in the country fell below 30% for the first time in a reflection of the fraught ties between the two nations.
The junior coalition partner of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) sent a delegation to Beijing in a bid to improve ties on a trip delayed from the summer amid strains between Asia's two largest economies.
A Komeito party delegation led by Natsuo Yamaguchi on Wednesday met with Cai Qi, head of the powerful Secretariat of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee that oversees day-to-day affairs of the CPC. The ruling parties of both countries should "accurately grasp each other's development and strategic intentions," Chinese state media quoted Cai as telling the Japanese delegation.
Both sides should work together to promote "positive" and "friendly" mutual understanding, said Cai, also the five-ranked member of the CPC's seven-person Politburo Standing Committee, the highest tier of political power in China helmed by President Xi Jinping. The visit came on the heels of rare face-to-face talks between Xi and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, also LDP's leader, on the sidelines of an Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in the United States last week during which both sides affirmed their strategic relationship.
Bilateral ties have come under tension after the two Asian neighbours clashed over issues from Japan's release of treated radioactive water into the ocean to maritime territorial claims, detention of Japanese citizens, Taiwan and export curbs. In a survey of Japanese firms with operations in China released on Tuesday, the number of companies planning to expand in the country fell below 30% for the first time in a reflection of the fraught ties between the two nations.
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