Chinese foreign minister meets Japanese leader

Beijing, Jan 24 (IANS) Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi has expressed hope that Japan's New Komeito party could play a role in improving relations between the two nations.

Yang conveyed this sentiment Thursday as he met visiting Japanese leader Natsuo Yamaguchi, of the New Komeito party which is one of the two ruling parties of Japan, Xinhua reported.

Yamaguchi, who arrived in Beijing Tuesday, is the first senior member of the Japanese ruling bloc to travel to China since the Japanese government announced it would "purchase" part of the disputed islands, a move that soured bilateral relations.

China calls the islands as Diaoyu while Japan describe them as Senkaku.

While meeting the representative of the New Kometio party, which maintains a friendly policy towards China, the Chinese minister told Yamaguchi that his party was an important force in the country.

Yang said sensitive issues must be properly handled to maintain healthy and stable bilateral relations.

"We hope your visit will contribute to maintaining and pushing forward ties," Yang told Yamaguchi.

The two countries should make efforts to manage and control problems through talks and consultations, he added.

"China hopes the new Japanese government will maintain a positive and stable policy towards China and take concrete steps to promote the improvement of ties while working for shared goals," Yang said.

Yamaguchi said the New Komeito party advocates friendship between the two nations and attaches importance to promoting its relations with China.

The New Komeito party believes that China and Japan should overcome disparities through talks, he said, adding that the party is ready to play a positive role in the improvement of bilateral ties within the framework of the new Japanese administration.

--Indo-Asia News Service

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