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China’s Communist Party, Japan’s LDP To Resume Dialogue

Officials from Japan’s coalition government announced on Wednesday that China and Japan have agreed to resume regular discussions between their ruling parties, the first such talks in six years. Relations between Asia’s two largest economies have been tense due to various issues, including Japan’s concerns over China’s maritime activities in the East and South China Seas and China’s objections to Japan’s decision to release treated water from the damaged Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean.

But the agreement to restart the talks came after Chinese Premier Li Qiang praised what he called a restart in relations with the U.S.-allied Japan and South Korea after their leaders met for the first three-way summit in four years on Monday.

The three agreed to revive trade and security dialogue hampered by global tensions.

Toshimitsu Motegi, secretary-general of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, reached an agreement on talks with Liu Jianchao, who leads the Communist Party’s body in charge of managing ties with foreign political parties, during Liu’s visit to Tokyo on Wednesday.

Liu “specifically requested to restart the Japan-China ruling party exchange council. Secretary-General Motegi expressed his approval”, Tatsuya Ito, an LDP lawmaker present at the meeting, told reporters.

Makoto Nishida, a lawmaker from the LDP’s junior coalition partner Komeito who was also present at the talks, confirmed a decision had been made for the exchanges to resume.

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The details of how and when the talks would start have not yet been finalised, Ito added.

The ruling party talks were previously held around once a year but have not taken place since 2018.

Liu, who has kept up a busy schedule since he came into office in 2022, stoking expectation he is being groomed to become China’s next foreign minister, also met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa earlier on Wednesday.

Kishida told Liu that he wanted to build stable and constructive ties with China and that exchanges between political parties were important for developing relations.

With Inputs From Reuters