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China, Japan FMs meet 'unofficially'

2014-08-11 08:36 Global Times Web Editor: Li Yan

Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi and his Japanese counterpart Fumio Kishida Saturday held an "unofficial" meeting on the sidelines of ASEAN meetings in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, believed to have explored the possibility of reviving summit meetings between the two leaders long suspended due to bitter disputes over territory and historical issues.

"I exchanged views [with Wang] on how to improve relations. I met him and spoke with him for a long time," Kishida was quoted as saying by Japan's Kyodo News, but he declined to reveal details of the meeting.

China's foreign ministry Sunday carried a brief report on its website, stressing that the meeting was an "unofficial" one.

The statement said Wang seriously clarified China's principles and stance, demanding Japan to make concrete efforts to remove political barriers in bilateral ties.

Though neither side made any mention of the possibility of a leaders' meeting, it is believed to be the major point of discussions between the two diplomats.

Since Shinzo Abe took office in late 2012, there have been no summit meetings between Abe and Chinese leader Xi Jinping due to the spat over the Diaoyu Islands and Abe's visit to Yasukuni Shrine.

Kyodo quoted observers as saying that Wang may have decided to meet Kishida amid speculation that Abe will forgo visiting Yasukuni on the August 15 anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II, and that Tokyo wants to set up a meeting between Abe and Xi during a summit of the APEC forum in November in Beijing.

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