North Korea set to dominate Sino-Japan talks

China attaches a great deal of significance to his visit as it looks to improve ties with Japan.

Last Updated: Dec 25, 2011, 21:41 PM IST

Beijing: Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on Sunday arrived here for talks with Chinese leadership to step up bilateral ties and for parleys that will focus mainly on North Korea after the death of its leader.

"I would like to exchange views and information in detail so as to avert a harmful effect on peace and stability on the Korean peninsula," Noda said here.

Noda is the first Japanese Prime Minister to visit Beijing after China over took Japan as the second largest economy last year.

China attaches a great deal of significance to his visit as it looks to improve ties with Japan to minimise the impact of big US push into Asia-Pacific to rally ASEAN countries who have disputes with Beijing in the South China Seas, besides Australia, Japan and India, ruffling feathers with it.

His visit gained added significance in view of tenuous situation prevailing in the Koran peninsula following the recent death of North Korean dictator, China`s close ally Kim Jong Il.

Noda, who is also giving big push to Japan`s ties with India will be going to New Delhi from Beijing tomorrow for talks with Indian leadership on a host of political, strategic and economic initiatives between the two countries.

Kim Jong Il`s son Kim Jong Un took over the leadership with the tacit backing of China.

Ahead of his visit to India, US and Japan held their first trilateral meeting in Washington recently much to the disquiet of China. Soon after his arrival here, Noda held talks with Prime Minister, Wen Jiabao.

He will also be meeting President Hu Jintao other top leaders. Days before his visit here, Noda told the official Chinese media he would frankly exchange views with Chinese leaders on cooperation and exchanges, and reach important consensus with the Chinese side on deepening the Japan-China strategic and mutually beneficial relations.

Noda said the Japan-China relationship had enjoyed rapid development since the normalisation of bilateral relations, with bilateral trade increasing from USD 1.1 billion to USD 300 billion dollars and people-to-people exchanges growing from 10,000 to 5.4 million.

Despite twists and turns, the two governments had made great efforts to advance the relationship based on the four political documents guiding the development of bilateral relations, Noda said.

He said improving national feelings was important for the stable and sustainable development of Japan-China ties.

Problems were unavoidable as the two countries saw closer people-to-people exchanges and economic cooperation.

But, when problems emerged, the two governments should try to solve them from the perspective of minimising the negative impacts on bilateral ties, Noda said.

Commenting on Noda`s visit, an article in state run Xinhua news agency said China-Japan ties, which spans more than 2,000 years remained friendly until Japan inflicted huge suffering on the Chinese people with its invasion in the middle of last century.

"Even today, a number of Japanese politicians hold a militarist mindset, blatantly distort history and refuse to apologise for the country`s war crimes in the past," it said.

Hence, facing history honestly is vital to stabilising and advancing China-Japan relations.

The two neighbours also have disputes over maritime resources and sovereignty and sea delimitation in the East China Sea, it said.

China`s Defence Ministry said in October that close-in reconnaissance activities by Japanese planes and ships against China had undermined its security interests.

PTI