China, Japan to work on overall relations

May 5th, 2008 - 11:40 pm ICT by admin  

Tokyo, May 5 (DPA) Chinese President Hu Jintao will arrive in Tokyo this week to usher in a ”warm spring” in ties between the two Asian powers, media reported Monday. Hu’s trip from Tuesday to Saturday, the first by a Chinese president to Japan in a decade, will focus on improving overall relations and divisive issues such as interpretation of Japan’s wartime militarism and gas exploration rights in the East China Sea are likely to take a back seat.

The issue of food safety, which was raised when 10 people from three families fell ill in Japan between December 2007 and January this year after eating pesticide-tainted frozen dumplings made in China, is also a low agenda item in the talks.

The incident led to a decrease in Japanese consumption of Chinese food products.

On Wednesday Hu meets Japanese Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, whose visit to China in December helped thaw relations that had been chilly for years.

Relations reached a low when China refused all high-level contact during the 2001-2006 premiership of Junichiro Koizumi due to his annual visits to a shrine that honours Japanese war dead including war criminals.

Ahead of Hu’s arrival, Japan is expecting anti-Chinese protests by right-wing extremist groups and has deployed 6,600 police as extra security.

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