China’s top diplomat visits Tokyo to meet Japanese premier


– Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi kicked off his two-day visit to Japan Tuesday, during which he will meet Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Tokyo and Beijing said.

China’s top diplomat held talks with Shotaro Yachi, senior national security adviser to Abe Tuesday, to discuss bilateral issues and preparations for an upcoming summit of China, Japan and South Korea.

Yang said in Tokyo that he wants to play “an active role to improve” relations.

Yachi invited Yang to Tokyo when they met in Beijing in July.

Yachi said relations “have basically improved” despite disputes over uninhabited islets in the East China Sea, and persistent resentment over contrasting versions of wartime history.

The Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands are also claimed by China, where they are called Diaoyu. In September 2012, Japan’s purchase of some of the islets set off protests in dozens of Chinese cities and a boycott of Japanese products.

Yang is scheduled to hold talks with Abe Wednesday.

Officials were expected to lay the groundwork for a possible meeting between Abe and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, during the trilateral summit being arranged to take place as early as this month in South Korea, Kyodo News Agency said.