Tokyo: A delegation of senior Japanese lawmakers left for Beijing today on a mission to me nd ties between the two neighbours amid a territorial dispute, which has prevented a leaders` summit.
The bipartisan delegation, led by Masahiko Komura, former foreign minister and vice president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, departed from Tokyo`s Haneda airport today morning on a three-day visit to China, officials said.
The mission consisted of nine lawmakers of both ruling and opposition parties belonging to the Japan-China Friendship Parliamentarians` Union.
During the trip, the Japanese lawmakers are scheduled to hold talks with former Chinese foreign minister Tang Jiaxuan and other Chinese officials, Japan`s public broadcaster NHK said.
The delegation members, including former foreign minister also Katsuya Okada, also hope to meet close aides to Chinese President Xi Jinping in an effort to arrange a summit between Xi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, NHK reported.
The two leaders have yet to hold a summit as relations between Tokyo and Beijing have fallen to their lowest point for years.
Chinese vessels and aircraft regularly approach the East China Sea archipelago - thought to harbour natural resources - after Japan nationalised some of the islands in September 2012, setting off the latest spate of incidents in the long-running territorial dispute.