Japanese PM makes rare trip to China

Shinzo Abe attends at the ASEM leaders summit in Brussels Belgium Friday. Francois Lenoir, Reuters

Abe, who also attended a third-country investment conference and met with students at elite Peking University, is to return to Japan on Saturday.

Strategically, Japan is also seeking to position itself in the region as a counterforce to China. It follows Japan's previously foreshadowed decision to stop providing China with official development assistance, which Abe argued had "completed its historical mission" over the past 40 years.

Gokhale said the two leaders are expected to deliberate on regional security issues, situation in Korean peninsula and that India will raise its concerns over terrorism. President Xi Jinping reciprocated Abe's gesture by refraining from criticizing Japan at the Nanjing Massacre commemorative events in December 2017. At the forum, Abe took the opportunity to once again emphasize the need to follow worldwide standards for infrastructure projects and to take into account the financial position of recipient countries.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe left Tokyo's Haneda Airport for China on Thursday afternoon.

Prime Minister Li endorsed how ties between the two countries had pivoted from full-blown rivalry to growing partnership, especially over the last two years.

Analysts say that China seeks Japanese companies to participate in its Belt and Road projects, especially in the financial sphere, to counter allegations that Beijing is deliberately pursuing "debt trap" diplomacy as tool for exercising political control in developing countries.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday described India and Japan a "winning combination" and said the island nation is New Delhi's most trusted partners in its economic and technological modernisation.

"Prime Minister Abe reiterated his view that, without stability in the East China Sea, there will not be a true improvement of the relationship", Osuga said.

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During Abe's visit, the leaders will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the signing of a treaty between the two countries that was meant to set the tone for their relations following the war.

This is the first full-scale Sino-Japanese summit since 2011. Is Japan at a similar cusp wherein long-term strategic decisions have to be arrived at in relation to China?

The incident prompted anti-Japanese riots in China, and kicked off a frosty spell that has only recently begun to thaw. This was because the TPP was seen by Tokyo as the economic inculcation of the US economy into the region to match America's extensive network of alliances and security partnerships that can be found throughout North and Southeast Asia.

"Switching from competition to collaboration, I want to lift Japan-China relations to a new era", the Japanese leader said, according to a translation by Kyodo News.

He said India values Japan's global leadership in innovation, technologies and best practices and during his visit, he will have a chance to see some of Japan's high-tech capabilities in robotics.

"How we dovetail this and how we leverage Japan's strength in certain areas including medical equipment, hospitals and others is something that the two leaders can explore", Gokhale said.

In the past year, China has stepped up its outreach to Japan and others as it locked horns over trade with the United States.

Modi is set to meet Abe for the 12th time in four-and-a-half years on Monday, signalling the strong ties between Asia's second and third largest economies.

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