China`s Hu arrives in Japan, 1st visit since spat

Last Updated: Friday, November 12, 2010 - 22:16

Yokohoma: Chinese President Hu Jintao
arrived in Japan on Friday for his first visit since a territorial
spat erupted two months ago that badly strained ties between
the two Asian neighbours.

Hu arrived for a weekend summit in Yokohama, just
south of Tokyo, that brings together leaders from 21 Pacific
Rim countries and territories, including the US and Russia.

Relations between Tokyo and Beijing remain tense after
Japan arrested a Chinese fishing boat captain whose boat
collided with two Japanese patrol vessels near disputed
islands in the East China Sea on September 7.

Japanese officials are still trying to arrange a
meeting between Hu and Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan
during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, summit.
The two leaders had a brief encounter last month on
the sidelines of a summit in Brussels, but have yet to hold a
formal meeting.

The boat collision sparked nationalism in both
countries. Japan released the captain, but Beijing demanded an
apology and compensation, prompting Tokyo to demand that
Beijing pay for damage to the patrol boats.

Beijing cut off ministerial-level contacts with
Japan, repeatedly summoned Tokyo`s ambassador to complain, and
postponed talks on the joint development of undersea natural
gas fields. China also quietly halted exports to Japan of rare
earth metals, which are essential for making high-tech
products.

PTI



First Published: Friday, November 12, 2010 - 22:16

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