China and Japan should work jointly in getting bilateral relations back to a normal track in 2018, Premier Li Keqiang said.
Li made the remarks when meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono in Beijing on Sunday afternoon at the Zhongnanhai compound.
Kono is on an official visit to China from Saturday to Sunday, his first official visit to China after he assumed his current post in August.
While positive aspects have increased in the development of bilateral ties, relations between China and Japan still face a number of uncertainties, Li told Kono, adding that China has noticed the positive signal sent recently from the Japanese side in improving its relations with China.
Noting the year 2018 marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship, Li said both countries should review the spirit of the treaty and properly handle and manage sensitive issues in history, as well as disputes between the two countries, to get bilateral ties back to the normal track.
The relationship between China and Japan is not only related to the development of the two countries, but also has an impact on the region and worldwide, Li said.
He said the economies of China and Japan are strongly complementary and share great potential for cooperation. He urged Japan to create a positive atmosphere for bilateral cooperation, restart dialogue mechanisms between China and Japan, and to further promote cooperation in the East Asia region.
Kono said people from all walks of life in Japan hold high expectation for a comprehensive improvement of China-Japan ties. He said Japan is willing to use the 40th anniversary of the signing of the treaty as an opportunity to work jointly with China to further improve and deepen bilateral ties.
Kono told Li that Japan looks forward to holding a new round of China-Japan-South Korea leaders' meetings as soon as possible, and invites Premier Li to pay an official visit to Japan.
He also said Japan is willing to restart high-level economic dialogue with China, and help bilateral ties get back to a normal track.