Japan has called for a reset in strained ties with neighboring China, following a meeting between the leaders of the two countries at the G - 20 summit in Russia.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping briefly met on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Saint Petersburg, to discuss the disputed islands in the South China Sea, Japan ' s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters on Friday.
“Prime Minister Abe explained(to Xi) about our thoughts that we should develop Japan - China relations by going back to the original point of the strategic, mutually beneficial relationship, ” Yoshihide said.
The Chinese leader responded by admitting that ties between the two nations were facing “grave difficulties,” and that Japan should “correctly deal” with issues such as the islands dispute. Xi added that conflicts should be handled “in line with the spirit of facing history squarely and looking forward to the future so as to seek a way to properly manage differences.” The meeting marks the first between the two leaders since bilateral relations sunk last year after Japan publicly declared ownership of a series of disputed islands in the East China Sea. Tokyo and Beijing remain locked in a bitter territorial dispute over the island chain controlled by Japan under the name Senkakus, but claimed by China as the Diaoyus. Beijing also accuses Tokyo of not making sufficient amends for its hostile and avaricious behavior following the events of World War II.