China, Japan Ministers pave way for rare summits

China, Japan Ministers pave way for rare summits

Support for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, plagued by accusations of cronyism and cover-ups, fell to 26.7 per cent in a survey by private broadcaster Nippon TV released on Sunday, the lowest since he took office in December 2012.

Kono met Wang in China in January when he became the first Japanese foreign minister to visit the country in almost two years. Upon his arrival in Tokyo earlier in the day, Wang had only said he hopes the bilateral ties will be "brought back onto a normal track". China's bid to fix relations comes as the USA threatens trade sanctions and a renewed emphasis on Taiwan ties.

China showed its influence over its reclusive ally when President Xi Jinping hosted North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his wife in Beijing last month.

China was motivated by a lack of transparency in USA policy making, as well as tougher American security and trade stances, she added.

South Korean President Moon Jae In and US President Donald Trump are preparing for separate direct talks with Mr Kim.

Despite the diplomatic push, tensions over territory and Japan's militarist history remain. The Self-Defense Forces activated a new amphibious unit to help defend remote islands just a week ago.

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Economic ties between Japan and China are close, led by corporate investment. Still, few see the relationship as good.

Japanese Foreign Affairs Minister Taro Kono and his Chinese counterpart have pledged to improve ties between their nations and affirmed a commitment to stick with U.N. resolutions aimed at forcing North Korea to abandon nuclear weapons.

Trump threw fresh confusion into trade negotiations Thursday by instructing advisers to review the possibility of returning to the negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a sprawling free trade deal.

"I hope that we will be able to discuss what and China can work together on in the global arena, not just bilateral issues", Kono told reporters on Friday.

Abe's sliding ratings are raising doubts over whether he can win a third three-year term as ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leader in a September vote he needs to win to stay in office or whether he might even resign before the party election.

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